According to Elijah Akpan, Rivers State territory manager for national PTO Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), telephone subscribers in his region owe the company around NGN1.2 billion (USD9.24 million) in unpaid bills. The staggering figure, which includes NGN117.57 million from state ministries and parastatals, and NGN6.2 million from the Army, threatens to adversely affect NITEL’s expansion plans. Mr Akpan slammed customers for ‘being heartless at its detriment’ but added that NITEL was striving to ‘provide sound services to its customers’. Debts from the Navy amount to NGN9.9 million, the Air Force NGN4.01 million, the police NGN34.1 million and the security service NGN3.7 million. However, the lion’s share is reserved for customers and business which collectively owe NGN1.04 billion.