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How private company withheld FG’s N32bn meter supply fund for 20 years– Adelabu

Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power, has explained how a
private company held on to the sum of N32 billion paid into its account for the
supply of three million prepaid metres in 2003.

 

According to a statement by Bolaji Tunji, the minister’s
spokesperson, on Wednesday, the federal government had entered a tripartite
agreement with Messrs Ziklagsis Network Limited and Unistar International in
2003.

 

The agreement, the minister said, was for the firm to supply
meters to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in the country within
three years.

 

To begin the project, he said the federal government
released a “revolving metering loan” of N32 billion to Messrs Ziklagsis.

“The agreement was not implemented while the fund remained
in the bank account of Ziklagsis at the then Prudent Bank from where it moved
to Skye Bank, Polaris and lately, Providus Bank,” the statement reads.

 

With the privatisation of DisCos, Adelabu said the
government proposed the metering of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs)
to accurately determine the consumption of the MDAs and also reduce accumulated
debts.

 

“This was what led to the initiative to metre military
formations nationwide,” he said.

 

‘FG INSTRUCTED US TO USE N32BN WITH ZIKLAGSIS’

Meanwhile, Adelabu denied reports that the mass metering
project of military formations, which commenced last week, did not follow due
process.

 

He said the Nigerian army, concerned about its massive
electricity debt, had written to the presidency to request assistance in paying
off the outstanding debt and metering their formations.

 

Adelabu said the ministry was instructed by the federal
government to investigate the army’s request and use the N32 billion with
Ziklagsis.

“It was then that Ziklagsis was introduced to the Nigerian
Army by the Ministry of Power. It was around this period that the Nigerian Army
also introduced De Haryor Global Services to Ziklagsis to enable them to work
together,” he said.

 

“In November 2022, discussion began on the project among the
parties and an agreement was signed between the Nigerian Army as a client,
Messrs Ziklagsis as project supervisor and De Haryor Global Services as a
service provider to commence the metering projects in Army barracks at a cost
of N12.7billion, under the MDAs metering project.

 

“This predates the appointment of Adelabu as Minister of
Power. In spite of this, the money was not released to the service provider
that had already gone ahead to seek funds for the acquisition of smart metres.

 

Concerned about the over eight million metre gap in the
country and the liquidity squeeze in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry,
the minister said he wondered how money meant for a national project could be
held up untouched for over 20 years by an individual.

 

 “He, therefore,
mounted pressure and escalated the matter to the presidency for the retrieval
of the revolving fund from Messrs Ziklagsis plus accrued interest to date. This
was duly approved by the President,” the statement further reads.

 

“Upon the President’s approval, N12.7 billion was therefore
to be released in tranches to De Haryor Global Services to commence
installation of already procured smart meters.”

 

Therefore, the minister said he should be commended for his
efforts in securing the recovery of the revolving metre fund which had been
untouchable for over 20 years, thus enabling the eventual take-off of the
project.

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