Niger State Government Warns AEDC Over Critical Infrastructure Disconnect

By Abubakar Hassan

Niger State Government has said that it will no longer tolerate the conduct of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for disconnecting the power supply of its critical infrastructure.

The State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Constant Power Supply Committee in the state, Alh. Ahmed Mohammed Ketso stated this during an emergency meeting with the management of AEDC, at the government house, Minna, Tuesday.

He said it was unacceptable the attitude of AEDC targeting government basic infrastructure because of debt owed them, saying even in a war situation facilities such as Health and water were spared.

Ahmed Ketso said the AEDC action was tantamount to inciting the public against the government and that it was unacceptable to the government.

He disclosed that the state government had made a commitment to pay the current charge each month which it had not failed since making that commitment and also promised to pay N100 million monthly to gradually offset the legacy debt the government was owing the AEDC.

He added that the state government had made over N13 billion investment in the power sector in the state and that they were looking at a way of getting a soft landing for both parties, but that since AEDC was taking the magnanimity of the government for granted they will be forced to show the other side of the government.

He also challenged the AEDC management to show any of its corporate social responsibility projects in the state, saying the government had been relating mutually well with AEDC in the state but that it seems they were taking that for granted.

The Deputy Governor observed that the delay in the commencement of payment of the legacy debt does not mean that the government will not pay, saying the honorable thing to do was for the AEDC to write a reminder to the government and wait for its response.

He assured that the state government through its ministry of finance was working on a template on how to clear the legacy debt and that they were looking forward to a good understanding from the AEDC.

Responding, the Regional Manager of AEDC, Minna regional office, Mahmud Keni Ndadama apologized to the state government for causing them pain, saying they were acting on the directive of their headquarters.

He admitted that since his assumption in office in February this year, the state government had been paying its monthly current charge, but that the borne of contention was the debt that has piled up over the years.

The AEDC had earlier disconnected power supply to the general hospital, government house, Minna, waterworks, State Secretariat, and some other government critical infrastructure in the state due to the government's inability to offset the debt owed to the AEDC.

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