After a debt of approximately N1.3 billion for electricity supply to Government House, Minna, the state secretariat for housing ministries, departments and agencies of the state government and the General Hospital, Minna, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, (AEDC) has started to disconnect from the above-mentioned designated places for the purpose of forcing the state government to pay its accrued electricity bills in the shortest possible time.
AEDC Public Relations Officer in the state, Adamu Dantani, told reporters in Minna on Friday that the decision to begin shutting down public institutions including the Government House, Minna and hospitals, including private organizations and individuals who are residents of Minna and her surroundings, followed last Wednesday. a Task Force set up by the board of directors and management of AEDC, burdened with a decoupling order to collect all outstanding debts amounting to several billion naira owed to the company by customers in the state.
Mr Dantani explained that the state government had been given seven days’ notice to pay the accrued bills, but that he had reportedly failed to meet his obligation.
He explained that the House of Representatives intervened between the company and the executive branch of the government four months ago, and an agreement had been reached that the government would settle at least about 80 percent of the debt.
He said: “Until now there has been no commitment from the state government.
“We have taken action after being pushed against the wall by the state government for failing to honor its words after the state assembly intervened four months ago,” said Mr Adamu Dantani.
However, the AEDC Image Maker stated that the government had paid N74 million monthly from its current account in the past three months, adding that the N1.3 billion were unpaid bills that had accumulated earlier.
“We have no choice but to disconnect their services and focus on our loyal consumers in and outside the metropolis.”
Mr Dantani appreciated consumers for ensuring their electricity bills were paid quickly, highlighting that the company had added seven transformers and spent more than N500 million to improve power supplies.
Other public institutions affected by the lockdown include the state water board, schools, all general hospitals, the office of the Secretary of the State Government (SSG) Ahmed Ibrahim Matane and that of the head of the service.
Meanwhile, the development has led to a 50 percent increase in water costs in Minna, as water vendors now collect N300.00 – N450.00 against N700 for a truck carrying 10 jerry cans of 20 liters of water each.
However, when our reporter contacted the secretary of the state government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, he said in a telephone interview that he was on his way to Kontagora on an official assignment, adding that he had yet to be officially informed of the electricity supply disconnection order in his office, government building and other public institutions in Minna by the AEDC, insisting that he was unaware of the lockdown.
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