Cairo Metro owes EGP 300 mn in water, electricity bills
Cairo Metro’s financial troubles: Cairo Metro owes overdue electricity bills worth EGP 260 mn and water bills worth EGP 40 mn, Ahram Gate reports. The companies are now calling for their receivables and threatening to take legal action and switch off access to electricity and water, according to Cairo Metro’s spokesperson Ahmed Abdel Hady. Abdel Hady’s remarks come at odds with the Electricity Ministry’s spokesperson, who said the ministry would never cut off power access to such a “vital state institution,” but said there is action to resolve the financial dispute. This follows the news that at least 11 companies are refusing to supply Cairo Metro with spare parts and maintenance services until the company makes good on its debts. The House of Representatives’ Transport Committee is giving Transport Minister Hisham Arafat three weeks to present them with his strategy to revamp sector activities and improve their performance (including the Cairo Metro), a promise he had made after he was sworn in last month, Al Mal says. So far the strategy involved shopping for investors to provide USD 15.2 bn to fund the ministry’s projects. The only way this stuff makes it into the press is if it suits someone’s interests, and our suspicion is that the folks at the Metro are angling for a fat increase in their budget allocation.