Zamfara Govt House Thrown Into Darkness Over N400m Unpaid Electricity Bills

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The Zamfara State government house in Gusau has remained in darkness following the non-payment of their electricity bills which has also led to the disconnection of electricity supply to the premises by the Kaduna Power Holding Company.

The Business Development and Relationship Officer of the Kaduna Power Holding in Gusau area office, Aminu Yakubu told journalists on Wednesday that the action followed the failure of the state government to settle its electricity bills.

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Yakubu said Zamfara state government, which had a monthly electricity bill of between N15 million and N20 million, had continuously failed to pay its electricity bills over the years and was indebted to the tune of N400 million.

He said the disconnection affected some other state government’s offices including the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital.

“Since there was no indication that the state government would pay, my head office directed that we cut the supply until the debt is settled.”

Yakubu, however, said that the state house of assembly had invited him to explain the reason company cut power supply to the state government and that the legislators promised to talk to the executive so that the money being owed would be settled.

“I explained the debt profile and the legislators promised to talk to the executive so that the money being owed would be settled,” he said.

Yakubu said his office was waiting to hear from the lawmakers, and if nothing positive was done, he would wait for a further directive from his headquarters.

Zamfara State house

The House of Assembly had similar experience earlier this month when power suddenly went off for hours during the screening of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The lawmakers were forced to stop their procedures but Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume advised the committee to continue the screening.

Meanwhile, there is hope for stable electricity is in the country as the United States government said yesterday it plans to invest $1 billion, about N400 billion in the power sector.

The Coordinator of Power Africa, Andrew Herscowitz told a news conference in Abuja that the U.S. was committed to strengthening the power sector in Nigeria, adding that the US has already committed billions of dollars in funding the nation’s energy projects.

Herscowitz said the project also targets unlocking the substantial wind, solar, hydropower, natural gas, biomass, and geothermal resources on the continent.

“Since Power Africa was launched, U.S. Trade Development Agency has committed approximately 6.5 million dollars in funding for 10 activities supporting Nigeria’s energy sector, which could leverage up to 2.7 billion dollars in investment.

“It has advanced 50 million dollars in financing from the Oversea Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to Lumos, a Nigeria-based solar energy company, to scale up it’s off grid solar power service to about 200,000 Nigerian homes and businesses.

“Power Africa has supported power companies in the country to the tune of 100 million dollars capital expenditure credit enhancement facility with a corresponding 6.5 million dollars in technical assistance.”

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Power Africa is an initiative launched by President Barack Obama in 2013, to increase electricity access, by adding more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient energy development in sub-Saharan Africa.

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