Government and DisCos are looking for answers to legacy debt, instability, and tariff payment issues

Ken Ibenne

Ken Ibenne

Yesterday in Minna, the Niger State Government, the management of the Abuja Power Distribution Company (AEDC), and other major stakeholders in the energy industry discussed how to address escalating insecurity and its implications for electricity supply.

The stakeholders were also concerned about the government’s debt to the electricity company, stating that unless consumers pay their electricity bills on time, a reliable power supply will be difficult to come by.

In a series of meetings with consumers, traditional rulers, and government offices in the region, stakeholders bemoaned the growing vandalism of electricity infrastructure, emphasizing the serious consequences for power supply and business.

The governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, said the government will continue to execute policies to safeguard the state’s security, noting that the state’s legacies debt had risen over time.

According to him, the government has been working hard to reduce the debt and will continue to look for ways to ensure that the utility business is paid on time so that it may continue to operate.

Bello, who was represented by his Commissioner for Works, Momoh Musa, did note, however, that providing the state with prepaid meters remained a critical issue that needed to be addressed.

He also mentioned that the state has been investing in the development of power infrastructure, which the utility company must recognize and repay.

Bello stated that fighting insecurity requires collaboration with the power company to ensure adequate electricity, which he believes will reduce insecurity.

While AEDC’s Managing Director, Adeoye Fadeyibi, indicated that the organization is doing all necessary to improve service quality, the lack of timely electricity payment remained a major barrier.

Growing insecurity across the states, as well as vandalism of the company’s infrastructure, have hampered business operations, he claims.

While meeting with the state government, including the Emir of Minna Umar Faruq Bahago, the Estu Nupe, Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, and consumers, Fadeyibi, who was represented by his Chief Business Officer, Sani Usman, said that indebtedness to the company remained a critical challenge bedevilling the power supply, as utility companies are now required to remit 100% of the energy supplied to them.

“We need your cooperation to ensure that the state’s legacy debt is paid,” Fadeyibi said, adding that the business would initiate a metering system in the state on Monday to ensure that users are metered while waiting for the next phase of the government’s mass metering scheme. We also need your help in educating the public about the need of timely payment of power bills and the dangers of damage to electricity infrastructure.”

Abubakar indicated in his statement that the emirate would do all possible to defend electricity infrastructure.

He believes that consumers must pay for the electricity they use in order for power companies to enhance their services.

They emphasized the importance of the country getting power correctly, saying that it is important for job creation and a vibrant economy.

While thanking the firm for their visit, Bahago also committed to guarantee that the electricity infrastructure is properly protected.

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