Private Company Withheld Nigerian Govt’s N32bn Meter Fund For 20 Years – Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu

March 21, 2024
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The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu has opened up that a private company withheld N32 billion belonging to the federal government for 20 years.

He said the money was paid into the private company’s 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 Government 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 Federal Government 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 Tinubu to retrieve the fund for De Haryor Global Services to commence the project.

“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 read.

 

“It was then that Ziklagsis was introduced to the Nigerian Army 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 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. Despite this, the money 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 Nigeria 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 date. 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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