STELCO’s chief to FAM: Just pay the bill to get electricity, no need for statements

State Electric Company (STELCO)’s Managing Director Ahmed Shareef speaks to press on May 24, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Electricity will be restored to Football Association of Maldives (FAM) House as soon it pays MVR 6.5 million in outstanding bills, states State Electric Company (STELCO)’s Managing Director Ahmed Shareef.

STELCO cut off electricity to the FAM House over the outstanding bills Sunday. According to STELCO, FAM failed to settle the bills despite being offered multiple chances to propose a flexible payment plan.

STELCO said it is also considering cutting electricity to additional FAM properties.

Speaking at the signing of a project involving repair and management of streetlights in K. Atoll and V. Atoll on Monday, Shareef said that FAM cannot question STELCO’s intention or accuse it of lack of sincerity in their decision to cut electricity, when the outstanding electricity bills amounts to over MVR 6.5 million.

“I want say, what was your intention behind the failure to pay the bills until it reached MVR 6.5 million?” he said.

Shareef said that electricity will be restored as soon as FAM settles the outstanding bills.

He said that there’s no need for FAM to issue statements over the issue, and that STELCO does not wish to issue any additional statements in response.

Shareef said that failure to pay electricity bills are a great burden to STELCO, which is why the company advises all customers to make timely payments.

FAM said in a statement that the MVR 6.5 million includes irregularly billed amounts, and amounts incurred when the building was used for other government purposes - for which the association does not need to bear responsibility.

“Though the utility costs for sports fields and courts in Maldives are managed by the government, all the expenses of the Maafannu Turf Ground – used for football – is managed by FAM. This is something the government provides assistance to for all national associations, except for FAM,” said the association.

FAM said they met with Shareef back in March and presented a proposal to solve the issue without losses to either party.

FAM said they remained open to talks with STELCO.