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Tinubu orders payment of Villa’s N342m electricity debt

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President Bola Tinubu has ordered the immediate payment of N342 million as an outstanding electricity bill due to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC.

Tinubu’s directive follows the reconciliation of accounts between the State House Management and AEDC.

The AEDC announced on Monday that it will disconnect electricity in the Presidential Villa and 86 Federal Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies by December 2023 due to outstanding indebtedness of N47.20 billion.

The publication claimed that the State House owes N923 million in bills, which the Presidency rejected on Tuesday.

In a statement issued by Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, the presidency stated, “Contrary to the AEDC’s initial claim of N923 million in debt in paid advertisements in newspapers, the State House outstanding bill is N342.35 million, according to a letter by the management of the AEDC to the State House Permanent Secretary dated February 14, 2024.”

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The statement, titled ‘President Tinubu directs payment of State House electricity bill’, partly reads, “Having reconciled the position to the satisfaction of both parties, the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, has given assurance that the debt will be paid to AEDC before the end of this week.

“Following the example of the Presidency, the Chief of Staff also urged other MDAs to reconcile their accounts with AEDC and pay their electricity bills.”

Contrary to the AEDC’s first assertion of N923 million in debt in sponsored advertisements in newspapers, the State House’s outstanding bill is N342, 352, 217.46.

The AEDC cited several MDAs, including the Chief of Defence Staff—Barracks and Military Formations, which owes N12 billion, as well as the FCT Ministry, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of State Petroleum, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Others are the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Ministry of Education, CBN governor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Interior, Head ECOWAS, and Ministry of Transport, among others.

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While issuing a notice of disconnection to the implicated MDAs, the company warned that it had “given the 86 Government MDAs a 10-day notice to pay the N47.1 billion electricity debt they owe or risk disconnection.”

“The Abuja Electricity Distribution PLC is constrained to do this publication with the details of government, ministries, departments, and agencies with long outstanding unpaid bills for services rendered to them through the provision of electricity supply in that our previous attempts to make them honour their obligations have not achieved the desired results,” it added.

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