BREAKING NEWS: Private company withheld Nigerian govt’s N32bn meter fund for 20 years – Adelabu

Controversy as Power Minister ignores Nigerian firms in N40bn mass metering contract

Private company withheld govt's N32bn meter fund for 20 years – Adelabu

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The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has said a private company reportedly held on to N32 billion paid into its account in 2003 for the supply of three million prepaid metres.

On Wednesday, the Minister's Special Adviser, Strategic Communications and Media Relations, Bolaji Tunji, disclosed this in a statement while responding to the controversial N40 billion meter contract award to a foreign firm, De Haryor Global Services.

He explained that the Federal had entered a tripartite agreement with Messrs Ziklagsis Network Limited and Unistar International in 2003 to supply three million meters to distribution companies in the country within three years.

He said the kick-started the project and a revolving metering loan of N32 billion was released to Messrs Ziklagsis.

However, he stated that the project, which is targeted at providing metres for Army formations nationwide, did not kick-off.

The statement explained that the Minister got approval from President Bola Ahmed to retrieve the fund for De Haryor Global Services to commence the project.

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

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

“In November 2022, discussion began on the project among the parties, and an agreement was signed between the Nigerian Army as a , 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. Despite this, the was not released to the service provider that had already sought funds to acquire smart meters.

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

“He mounted pressure and escalated the matter to the presidency to retrieve the revolving fund from Messrs Ziklagsis plus accrued interest to . The President duly approved this. Upon the President's approval, N12.7 billion was, therefore, to be released in tranches to De Haryor Global Services to commence the installation of already procured smart meters.

“The minister should, therefore, be commended for his effort in ensuring the recovery of the revolving metre fund, which had been untouchable for over 20 years, thus enabling the eventual take-off of the project.”

DAILY POST recalls that Adelabu came under criticism for awarding a N40 billion meter contract to a foreign firm, De Haryor Global Services.

 

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