The National Arts Theatre in Lagos has been disconnected from electricity supply by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EKEDC) since its management has failed to pay over N9 million debt.
The General Manager for Media Communications of EKEDC Idemudia Godwin, made this open to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the complex was disconnected after several pleas and demand notices went disregarded.
Idemudia Godwin stated that the debt is an accumulation of unpaid bills over time.
“We don’t disconnect without serving notice. Besides, we recently ran a newspaper advertisement informing all ministries, departments and parastatal agencies (MDAs) of government that were indebted to EKEDC of our intention to disconnect them.
We have commenced disconnection of all historic debtors that include: residential, commercial, industrial and government establishments within our network,” he said.
He went further to state that the astronomical indebtedness by some customers was taking its toll on the company.
“This had seriously been impacting negatively on the entire value chain in the power sector equation. only 25 per cent of this debt actually belongs to DISCOs, the rest are for other companies in the value chain-generating companies, bulk traders, gas suppliers, among others.
“So if you do not pay and you accumulate debt, what you are looking at is a possible total collapse of the entire power sector. That is what we seek to avert by this action. We need this fund to energies the power sector; to ensure electricity supply and to grow the sector,” Idemudia said.
He stated that the operations of all distribution companies were hindered by huge indebtedness by the “historic debtors”.
However, an official of the National Arts Theatre that pleaded to remain anonymous confirmed to NAN on Sunday that electricity supply to the complex had been cut off for close to a week.
The source said that the on-going programme in one of the theatre’s halls was being driven by generator.
Meanwhile all effort to speak with the management of the theatre proved futile as they did not pick calls made to their cell phones.
The business activities around the National Arts Theatre complex has however, been affected greatly by the disconnection.
It was also reported that on July 24, Executive Director, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) Sunday Odutan, complained about the huge indebtedness of government military establishments to the distribution companies.
He gave the figures of indebtedness of the distribution companies as follows: Enugu: N7.2 billion Eko DISCO, Abuja DISCO: and N8.6 billion; Kaduna: N8.2 billion.
Others include Ibadan: Port Harcourt, N6.8 billion; N6.8 billion; Ikeja, N5.9 billion; Benin: N5.8 billion; Jos: N6.5 billion; Kano: N1.2 billion and Yola: N2.4 billion.