FG begins N40bn mass metering programme in Army formations

THE Federal Government has commenced a N40 billion mass metering programme to end the era of estimated billing in the Nigerian Army formations nationwide.

Speaking during the flag-off of the metering exercise at the weekend, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, said that the exercise would be in phases, with the Ikeja Cantonment in Lagos State being the first phase of the exercise.

He said the current exercise would last for six weeks.

Adelabu, in a statement issued on Sunday, March 17, explained that for the current exercise, the sum of N12.7 billion had been released out of a total of N40 billion for the project.

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“The mass metering in Army formations nationwide will enable to us know what is consumed every month to ensure appropriate billings and ease of collections. The overall intention is to eliminate and make estimated billing a thing of the past.

“This is one of Mr. President’s objectives as contained in the renewed hope agenda to ensure that electricity supply to the Armed Forces is prioritised and they do not suffer especially in the enjoyment of public utilities,” he said.

Adelabu said the smart meters being installed were tamper-proof and would eliminate energy theft.

Speaking further, the minister said that part of the energy blueprint by the government was to build off-grid power sources such as solar energy for military barracks located in remote areas without grid supply, adding that the meters being installed allow interconnectivity between grid and off-grid solar power supply.

Adelabu said the metering project would be extended to all military formations in the country to provide a 24-hour power supply to the barracks.

In his remarks, the chief executive officer of De Haryor Global Service and engineer in charge of the metering project, Ashade Olatunbosun, said the second phase of the project would begin in Abuja and Enugu, simultaneously, adding that military formations across the 11 distribution companies (DisCos) would benefit from the exercise.

Welcoming the minister to the Army Headquarters during the launch,  A.M Adetuyi, a major-general, said the metering initiative was timely as the brigade headquarters had been facing an epileptic power supply over time.

He said “When I investigated, I found out that we were only being given three hours of electricity daily, and on some days, we do not even get supplied. We have tried to resolve this and we have even involved the state government without any result.

“We also discovered that we were always being given estimated bills, though we would not have minded if the power supply had been regular. However, this commendable metering project has gladdened our hearts.”






     

     

    On February 20, The ICIR reported the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) threatening to disconnect electricity in the Presidential Villa, military formations across Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and other Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies over their refusal to pay over N47 billion outstanding debts as of December 2023.

    In the debtors’ list were the Chief of Defence Staff – Barracks and Military Formations owing N12 billion, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of State Petroleum, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Agriculture.

    The list also contained the Ministry of Education, CBN governor’s office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Interior,  and Ministry of Transport.

    Two days after the threat, power to barracks and other military formations was severed, leading to the decomposition of corpses at the Army mortuaries.

     

     

     

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

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