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COAS Lagbaja: Corpses in Army Mortuaries Decomposing Due to Power Outage Caused by N42bn Debt



Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff, raised concerns about corpses decomposing in mortuaries at Nigerian Army barracks due to an ongoing power outage caused by the army’s N42 billion debt to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC.

In a recent meeting with the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, Lagbaja discussed the urgent need to address the electricity debt to prevent further consequences at Army formations.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Lagbaja emphasized that the accumulated debt had led to power disconnections at various Army barracks and cantonments, resulting in the decomposition of bodies in mortuaries, leading to protests from the deceased’s families.

Lagbaja’s plea for the liquidation of the debt stemmed from the army’s inability to raise immediate funds to settle the outstanding amount, similar to the resolution taken in 2005 by a former President.

Addressing the concerns raised by Lagbaja, Minister Adelabu assured the Nigerian Army of his commitment to engage in dialogues with power distribution companies to alleviate the burden of the N42 billion electricity debt.

Adelabu stressed the significance of addressing liquidity issues within the power sector, emphasizing that the debt cannot be simply written off but can be restructured based on regular payment assurances from the Nigerian Army.

Furthermore, Adelabu acknowledged the broader challenges within the power sector, stating that power outages are not exclusive to army barracks but a national concern, considering the profit-driven nature of Distribution Companies and Generating Companies.

Regarding the debt issue, Adelabu proposed a monthly repayment plan as an alternative to embedding the entire debt in the electricity meters of the establishments.

Earlier in February, AEDC had issued disconnection notices to the Presidential Villa and 86 other Government Ministries Departments and Agencies over outstanding electricity bills amounting to N47 billion, prompting the President to demand immediate settlement of the debts.

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