By; ABDULL-AZEEZ AHMED KADIR.
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has decried the over one week power blackout being experienced in the state and said that the development is no longer acceptable.
The governor demanded for immediate power restoration by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC to the cities and towns in the state.
He expressed this concern at the weekend while commissioning a multi-million dollar integrated rice milling plant in Bida, in Bida Local Government Area of the state, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Jibrin Baba Ndace.
The governor complained that most cities, towns and villages in the state had been without power supply for weeks and cautioned that the electricity distribution company should not take the patience and level headedness of the people of the state for granted.
“Niger State alone contribute about 1500 MW of power to the national grid, but we are the worst hit state in terms of power supply. During raining season, we suffer a lot of flooding. Our people living in the riverine areas suffer every year. This year alone over 100 communities were submerged and yet we don’t have light.
“Minna the state capital and many towns in the state have been without light for over a week. This is not acceptable. I have discussed with the President and the Vice President. I have complained to Minister of Power and people who care to listen and I don’t want to continue to complain.
“We know our rights. Whoever is in charge, whoever is responsible, I have one message, reverse the situation. We have been patient enough to be this peaceful. We have complained and we have written series of letters. Let the distribution company reverse the situation now.
“We are patient people, we are law abiding citizens. Our patience, tolerance and obedience should and must not be interpreted as weakness,” the governor warned.
The governor said despite the epileptic power supply to the state, government has invested so much in buying transformers, a responsibility that rest squarely on the distribution company and the state still suffer blackout.
He maintained that the continued blackout in the state is not only inimical to its growth but capable of grounding the state economy. “Continued power out-age is a threat to industrial growth. How can a plant (the rice milling plant) like this operate without power,” he queried.
The governor debunked claim that electricity consumers in the state are not willing to pay their bills describing the allegation as untrue, but demanded that all houses should be provided with metres and power to enable payment of consumed power.