From John Adams, Minna
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has disconnected all the Niger State owned public institutions in the state, following an accumulated debt totaling N1.7 billion incurred by these public institutions.
Even though the state government has disagreed with the amount said to be owing the electricity distribution company, claiming that it is a little above N1billion, the affected public institutions have been thrown into darkness for the past four days running.
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Worst hit in the disconnection exercise is the Niger state Water Board, and this has resulted in water scarcity within the state capital and it suburb as residents struggled to cope with the situation.
The situation has been made worse by the inability of the standby generating sets at the Chanchaga water works to power the installed machines.
The development has also resulted in water vendors hiking the price of the commodity from N300 to N500 for a truck of 10 (25) litre jerry cans.
Other institutions disconnected are the Minna General hospital, the IBB Specialist Hospital, the State Secretariat complex, and the office of the Secretary to the state government.
Although It is not immediately known if the disconnection exercise extended to similar institutions outside the state capital, the development has brought government businesses in the affected institutions to a hot.
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According to a senior officer at AEDC, the disconnection of the public institutions took place before the Easter break after negotiations between the government and the electricity distribution company could yield any result.
The Public Relations Officer of the AEDC in Minna Mr Mohammed Adamu when contacted confirmed the story saying “We took the action after being pushed to the wall”.
Adamu explained that “series of reminders and personal contacts” were made to the government but “No fruitful result was achieved”.
Asked for how long the debt has accumulated Adamu said “For some years”.
However, reacting to this development, the Secretary to the state government, Mallam Ibrahim Metane, admitted that the government is indebted to AEDC but disagreed with amount quoted by the company.
According to him, the amount is a little above N1billion, adding that out of this amount, N300million was inherited from the previous administration in the state.
The SSG also disclosed that the government has invested over N3 billion for the provision of transformers, service lines and other materials to AEDC to ensure the provision of power to various communities in the last six years of this present administration in the state.