Power Distribution Coys to pay ground rents on Transformers …May stop N30m monthly remittance to NDDC unless..


By; BALA B, BITRUS, Minna.
Niger State Government said the electricity power distribution company, owner of all electricity transformers across the state is to pay ground rents to the state for such infrastructures.
The government said such companies operating in the state but in default in remitting relevant taxes to the state, must be made to do so henceforth.
The government’s position is informed by the continuous dwindling in its internally generated revenue (IGR), which makes the state one of the poorest though it has abundant sources of wealth within it.
Commissioner for Works and Transport in the state, Mr. Abdulmalik Usman Cheche said the state was being terribly shortchanged by the Power Distribution Company while it continues to make hundreds of millions in fortunes from customers across the state without remitting a dime in ground rents for its infrastructures and operations in the state.
Cheche said the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, (AEDC) which owns all the power distribution transformers on lands owned by the state government must pay for ground rents for such infrastructures.
The Commissioner while speaking to media men during a press conference, said complaints by electricity consumers over poor services and continued darkness across the state had made the state government to approach the company several times for improvement but lamented that there had been no improvement at all.
He noted that the state government was tinkering with the idea to henceforth stop the remittance of  N30 million monthly to the Niger Delta Development Company, (NDDC) as part of its contribution to the company in order to press home its insistence for improved service delivery to the state.
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company has for over three months now drastically rationed electricity supply to it’s customers across the state with some parts of the state getting electricity supply for a paltry two hours in three days and total black out to most parts of the state.
This development has grounded most businesses in the state and led to pockets of protestations by youths in parts of the state against non existent services while the company still distributes bills to electricity consumers.
The AEDC has been having problems with its customers across the state over poor service delivery. The complaints  include months of near total black out, over billing, distributing unjustifiable bills that do not tally with the quality and quantity of electricity services supplied to customers in the last four months.
The Commissioner said very soon, the state government will introduce ground rents on the electricity transformers owned by the company across the state in line with statutory provisions.
He explained that the plans by the state government to introduce ground rents on power transformers was not a  punitive measure against the power distribution company but is part of the ways of improving on IGR of the state.
He explained however that plans to stop the monthly payment and remittance of N30 million to the Niger Delta Development Company (NDDC) is to compel improvement in power supply to the state.


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