Adebayo Adelabu, the Minister of Power, has provided an explanation for the story of a private company that purportedly hoarded N32 billion that was paid into its account in 2003 to supply three million prepaid meters.

Three million meters will be supplied to national distribution companies in three years, as per a tripartite agreement signed in 2003 by the Federal Government, Messrs. Ziklagsis Network Limited, and Unistar International, according to a statement released on Wednesday by the minister’s Special Adviser for Strategic Communications and Media Relations, Bolaji Tunji.

According to the statement, Messrs. Ziklagsis received a N32 billion revolving metering loan to help launch the project.The statement stated, “The agreement was not implemented while the fund remained in Ziklagsis’s account at the then-Prudent Bank, from where it moved to Skye Bank, Polaris, and most recently, Providus Bank.”

“This was what led to the initiative to meter military formations nationwide,” Adelabu said, referring to the government’s proposal to meter Ministries, Departments, and Agencies in conjunction with the privatization of distribution in order to accurately determine the consumption of these MDAs and also reduce accumulated debts.

Adelabu refuted reports that the mass metering project of military formations, which commenced last week, did not follow due process. He mentioned that the Nigerian Army, concerned about its massive electricity debt, had written to the presidency to request assistance in paying off the outstanding debt and metering their formations.

The Ministry of Power introduced Ziklagsis to the Nigerian Army at that time, the statement continued. To facilitate collaboration, the Nigerian Army also introduced Ziklagsis to De Haryor Global Services during this time.The Nigerian Army, acting as a client, Messrs. Ziklagsis, acting as the project supervisor, and De Haryor Global Services, acting as a service provider, signed an agreement in November 2022 to start the metering projects in Army barracks at a cost of N12.7 billion under the MDAs metering project.

This is prior to Adelabu being named Minister of Power. Despite this, the service provider who had already started looking for funding to buy smart meters did not receive the money.”The minister expressed concern about the country’s over eight million meter gap and the liquidity crunch in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.

He questioned how funds intended for a national project could be kept unclaimed for more than 20 years by a single person.

As a result, he increased the pressure and took the case to the presidency in order to get the revolving fund back from Messrs. Ziklagsis along with any interest that had been accumulated thus far. The President gave his proper approval to this.

Therefore, N12.7 billion was to be released to De Haryor Global Services in installments upon the President’s approval so that the company could start installing smart meters that had already been purchased.

“Therefore, the minister deserves recognition for his endeavors in guaranteeing the retrieval of the revolving meter fund, which had remained untouchable for more than two decades, thereby facilitating the project’s eventual launch.”

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