Niger State Government has refuted claims by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, of owing N1.7 billion, saying the debt owed is N1.1 billion.
The Secretary to the State Government SSG, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane, stated this while briefing newsmen in his office in Minna.
He said the debt includes those owed by the immediate past administration of Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu.
Giving a breakdown of the debt in response to the disconnection to the power supply by ADEC to government facilities including the State Water Board, he explained that out of N1 billion, N300m million were debts inherited from the Governor Aliyu’s administration, while the balance of N800 million by the present administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
It would be recalled that AEDC had on Sunday commenced the disconnection of all government facilities including the state Water Works due to the State’s debt profile of N1.7 billion.
However, the company still supply power to the Niger State Government House and the Governor’s residence.
The SSG disclosed that negotiations are ongoing with the AEDC and assured that the facilities disconnected would be reconnected before Friday this week especially, the waterworks.
According to him, the state government expended N46 million monthly to pay Chanchaga Water Works for power supply by AEDC as electricity bills, while pointing out the need to engage the services of a consultant to verify billings by the company.
Matane also revealed that the state government within the last six has invested over N3 billion for the purchase of transformers, service lines and others in AEDC infrastructures to ensure the provision of power to various communities in the state.
He explained that the state government’s decision was aimed at encouraging the private sector to strive and be responsive to the state.
Matane further stated that currently, there was no crisis between the company and the state, adding,” so far over N10 billion has been spent on electrification from previous government to date”.
“The state government has sustained its payment of the current bills and up setting the outstanding. The challenge we have is that the company is still billing some old and non existing structures to the detriment of the state”.