By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Electricity supply from the national grid to parts Niger State would soon be scaled up from the current nine hours daily to 12 hours in a day.
The management of the Abuja electricity distribution company, AEDC assured the government and people of Niger state that the company was working hard to ensure that power supply to the state is improved upon.
The managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the AEDC , Engineer Ernest Mupwaya gave the assurance during a courtesy visit to governor Abubakar Sani Bello at the Government House in Minna.
The visit by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the electricity distribution company coincided with the meeting of the stakeholders and committee on quality and constant electricity supply in the state which was held at the Government House.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had while welcoming the Managing Director of the electricity distribution company, reeled out public outcries against the operations of the AEDC across the state.
He said there was the urgent need for management of the power distribution company to improve service delivery to the state, arguing that the state deserves better and stable electricity supply than what it was receiving at the present.
Governor Sani Bello argued that as the host to the country’s three hydro electricity power generating stations, it was unreasonable to hear cotizens cry over poor electricity supply.
He frowned at the continous reliance on estimations to bill customers for electricity consumed. Governor Sani Bello noted that since the AEDC cannot afford to procure and distribute prepaid metres free to residents and electricity consumers, the Niger state government was ready to go into partnership with the company to buy the card reader metres for distribution to citizens in the state.
“We are ready to partner with your company to purchase the pre-paid meters to be distributed to our people since your company cannot afford to give meters to our people.”
He rellayed the disapproval of citizens in the state to the use of estimated billing system by the company saying ”our people are not comfortable with the estimated bill system. They want to be metered, so that they can pay for what they consumed”.
Engr. Ernest Mupwaya in his response however disclosed that the AEDC was operating under difficult business environment made worse by refusal of electricity consumers to pay for services provided.
He assured electricity consumers in the state that power supply to the state would be improved by over 30 per cent from the current level of supply. He disclosed that plans were afoot to up power supply from the present 9 hours per day to 12 hours daily.
He made passionate appeal to the state government to off set the backlog of two months outstanding bills for electricity consumed by government ministries, departments and agencies.
Earlier at the stakeholders meeting, the Deputy, Muhammad Ahmed Kesto had demanded for a 24 hour uninterrupted power supply to the state.
Ketso had noted that poor and epileptic power supply in the state had made life unbearable for citizens in the state adding that most business were grounded as a result of power outages.
Epileptic power supply to the state in recent times had set electricity consumers and the company at logger heads with some youth and artisans staging protests against the AEDC.