The Federal Government on Thursday, said it would investigate how the non-functioning Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited accrued N33bn electricity debt which prompted the Transmission Company of Nigeria to disconnect the company from the national grid.
The Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu, revealed this to State House correspondents after meeting President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the TCN disconnected ASCL from the national grid as the moribund company failed to clear a debt of N33bn owed to the NBET and service providers.
The N33bn comprises N30.85bn for energy and capacity delivered by NBET and N2.22bn owed to service providers. Addressing correspondents, Audu vowed to consider the matter.
He expressed surprise at how the company accumulated such debt in electricity consumption when it had not been operating in full capacity.
“I mean these are some of the things that need to be clearly looked into. One of the things I spoke to the MD of Ajaokuta today, and this was one of the questions I asked and we’re going to get to the bottom of it: why consumption of so much electricity in a place that is not operating at full capacity?
“Part of what we also need to do is that we’re trying to revive Ajaokuta in a collegiate system, in piecemeal, and so we may not have the capacity to be able to pay all those outstanding amounts immediately.
“Part of what the MD of Ajaokuta told me is that most of the money is in interest payments. And NBET, the electricity company that has disconnected it is also a government agency,” Audu explained.