Pay Debts To Oil Companies, Stakeholders Tell PHCN

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Some stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have called on Federal Government to compel the PHCN to pay its debts to the oil companies to guarantee effective power supply.

They made the call in separate interviews with The Tide On Sunday source in Lagos on Friday, saying the PHCN is heavily indebted to some oil companies.

Mr Tokunbo Korodo, the South West Zonal Chairman, NUPENG, said there was need for PHCN to pay its debts to the companies that supplied it gas and boost its electricity generation.

Korodo said failure of the PHCN to pay the debts had affected electricity as the affected companies had refused to supply it with gas.

The PHCN Managing Director, Mr Hussein Labo, had on Tuesday said the company owed Nigeria Agip Oil Company N47 billion, being unpaid bills of gas and electricity supplied.

Labo said that Agip ran a 450-megawatt plant at Okpai in Delta and has been supplying electricity to PHCN from the plant since 2005.

“Nigeria can no longer bear the epileptic power supply in the country despite huge payment of electricity bills distributed by PHCN.

“Government should make power supply efficient and effective so as to save business, lives and properties. Most businesses had closed down due to epileptic power supply,’’ he said.

Mr Adebisi Bada, chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mosinmi Depot, called for involvement of the private sector to ensure sustainable development in the power sector.

“Unless we carry out reform in the power sector, the big picture, the big dream of ensuring that Nigerians in every nook and cranny of this country receive power will just be a dream.

“Let‘s put ourselves toward that path of Vision 20-2020. We need to grow beyond dreaming. We need to be very realistic.

The source reports that the PHCN is owing Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited $3.6millon, being the cost of electricity supplied from the company‘s Afam VI Power Plant.