N11m Unpaid Power Bill: Nigerian Consulate In South Africa Still In Darkness

ELECTRICITY is still not restored at the Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa, after city officials disconnected the power on Wednesday due to non-payment.

The consulate owes the power utility City Power over N11m (400,000 rand; $23,000; £18,000).

Consulate staff refused City Power officials access to the property but the utility was able to disconnect the premises from the power grid remotely.

There have bee  revenue collection efforts by City Power to disconnect various businesses whose accounts are in arrears. The utility is owed $232m in unpaid accounts overall.

Following the consulate’s disconnection, the Consul-general visited the City Power offices and arranged to pay a deposit of $7,000 promising that the balance of the outstanding account will be settled by the end of January.

The consulate’s power was said to be restored that same day but a Nigerian Consulate staff in South Africa, who spoke to News Point Nigeria on condition of anonimity said, ‘The City Power officials promised to restore power here but its still in darkness as we speak”.

News Point Nigeria reported that, the Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg experienced power outage due to the humongous electricity bill owed by the diplomatic mission leading to disconnection.

Despite being denied access to the consulate, Johannesburg City Power heads came with the Metro Police Department to effect the disconnection of the power supply two days ago.

A local online platform, IOL, on Wednesday, quoted the City Power spokesperson, Isaac Mangena, as saying, “The Nigerian consulate-general has been defaulting since last year but they promised to clear up the bill by January after the disconnection.

“The consul-general visited our Service Delivery Centre in Alexandra, and agreed to pay the deposit, with the rest to be paid by the end of the month,” said Mangena.

City Power’s actions come in the midst of rolling scheduled national blackouts as Eskom, the beleaguered national power utility, struggles to keep the lights on.

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