• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Army laments blackout in barracks, says corpses in mortuary are decomposing

Cordial relationship between military and media will better safeguard Nigeria – Lagbaja

…Minister says payment can only be restructured not written off

Lieutenant General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff ( CAS) has decried blackouts in army barracks, stating that some barracks and cantonments since January have been in total blackout.

Lagbaja disclosed this in a meeting with the minister of power in Abuja, describing the blackouts in army barracks and cantonment as security threats.

According to him, the Army couldn’t raise funds to pay the entire N42 billion debt.

“Debt owed is loaded on the meter, so no matter the amount of credit we put, the meters pick it automatically. Corpses in the Army mortuaries are decomposing and the owners of the corpses are protesting,” he said.

Speaking further, the chief of Army staff solicited for liquidation assuring the Minister of the army’s unflinching support towards developing intelligence strategies in curbing the menace of electricity infrastructure vandalism.

In his remarks, Adebayo Adelabu assured the Nigerian Army of his readiness to dialogue with Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to relieve the Nigerian Army of its electricity debt burden amounting to N42 billion.

The Minister who reiterated the importance of liquidity and funding in the sector, said that the debts could not be written off but assured of intervention to restructure the debt payment if there was assurance of regular payment by the Nigerian Army.

” The fundamental issues in the power sector value chain could be traced back to the last 50 years and a government that is barely eight months old cannot use a magic wand to proffer a solution. There is a saying that you won’t know what is happening in Rome until you get to Rome.

“Power outages are not peculiar to army barracks but a national issue. DISCOs and GENCOs are profit-oriented organizations and we can only plead with them to adopt a repayment plan every month instead of embedding the whole debt in their meter,” he said.

While encouraging the Army to continue assisting the Ministry in safeguarding power facilities across the nation, the Minister pledged to seek collaboration for the Army through any of the development partners for the installation of Solar PVs and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) as an alternative power supply in Army barracks and cantonments.