By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State government on Tuesday threw its weight behind the the decision of electricity consumers in the state not to pay any bill unless the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) improves its service.
The position of the government was made known by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mohammad Ahmad Ketso, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Minna.
Ketso accused the AEDC of deceiving the government and electricity consumers in the state, saying all the promises made in the past by the organisation had not been fulfilled.
According to the deputy governor, “The AEDC has been intentionally denying our people electricity. We will no longer back you (AEDC).
“The state can no longer rely on the promises of AEDC which they do not intend to keep.
“It is an intentional act that AEDC is not supplying us in Niger State with electricity. You are not giving us light and you want us to support you, it is not possible.
“We cannot support what you are doing to our people. You keep promising and doing nothing. We cannot keep going back and front. Please AEDC, we need light, once you make light available for us, we can assure you that our people will pay their bills.
“But the random light you give to us with estimated billing, we will not pay. Give our people what they deserve. Give us electricity, at least 13 to 14 hours daily.”
The AEDC General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr Ogebode Fadikpe, however appealed for understanding from the government and the people, saying: “The amount of energy allocated to us is not enough for the states we serve.
“The amount of energy we receive is not enough for the population. Over the years, the population has grown but the power sector has not grown in any way.”
Fadikpe claimed that since March 2019, the organisation had lost N1.5 billion but did not say how.
Stakeholders, who spoke at the meeting, told AEDC to leave the state if it is not making profit.