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Corpses In Army Mortuaries Decomposing Due To Blackout – COAS

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Corpses In Army Mortuaries Decomposing Due To Blackout – COAS

The Nigerian Army has received assurances from Chief Adebayo Adekola Adelabu, Minister of Power, that he is prepared to engage in discussions with Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in order to release the army from its N42 billion electrical debt.

On Thursday, February 22, the Minister gave a speech during a visit from Lt. General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff (CAS), who requested his help with the debt burden. Blackouts at army barracks and cantonments have been characterised by the Army Chief as security hazards.

Bolaji Tunji, the Minister of Special Adviser for Strategic Communication and Media Relations, was quoted by Bolaji Tunji, who emphasised the need for liquidity and funding in the industry and stated that debts could not be forgiven but that the Minister would step in to restructure the debt payment if the Nigerian Army promised to make regular payments.

Adelabu went on to say that the Power sector is facing more difficulties than just debt due by distribution and generating companies (GENCOs). He went on to say that among the problems facing the power industry is vandalism of power infrastructure, which frequently results in the collapse of the national grid, theft, inefficiency in the billing and collection process, poor metering gap, liquidity, shortages in gas supplies, and transmission stations being blown up with explosives in unstable areas.

Read Also: Nigeria Cannot Sustain Electricity Subsidy, GenCos Are Being Owed N1.3 Trillion, Says Power Minister Adelabu

“The fundamental issues in the power sector value chain could be traced back to the last 50 years and a government which is barely eight months old cannot use a magic wand to proffer a solution. There is a saying that you won’t know what is happening in Rome until you get to Rome”, he said.

The Minister stated that since DISCOs and GENCOs are profit-driven businesses, “we can only plead with them to adopt a repayment plan on a monthly basis instead of embedding the whole debt in their metre.” The Minister noted that power outages are a nationwide problem rather than a problem unique to army bases.

The Minister promised to work with the Army through any of the development partners to install solar photovoltaics (PVs) and battery energy storage systems (BESS) as an alternative power source in Army barracks and cantonments, while also encouraging the Army to keep helping the Ministry protect power facilities across the country.

The Chief of Army Staff had previously revealed that the primary goal of the visit was to talk about the future and the effects of the power outage in army formations.

Lagbaja expressed sadness for the complete blackout experienced by certain barracks and cantonments since January.

He said: “Debt owed is loaded on the meter, so no matter the amount of credit we put, the meters pick it automatically.

“Corpses in the Army mortuaries are decomposing and the owners of the corpses are protesting.”

He added that the Army could not raise the money necessary to pay off the full debt and asked for liquidation, just as the previous President had done in 2005.

He gave the Minister his unwavering word that the army would help the development of intelligence tactics aimed at reducing the threat of damage to power infrastructure.

A Gentle Reminder: Every obstacle is a stepping stone, every morning; a chance to go again, and those little steps take you closer to your dream.

Nnamdi Okoli

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