From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna.
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has decried the huge debt of over N770m owed by the Niger state government and other private and commercial consumers in the state that is capable of crippling the activities of the company.
This was sequel to a request by the Emir of Minna Alhaji Umar Farouq Bahago for agency to give 24 hour electricity supply to its customers in his emirate in order to boost their businesses and generate employment of the people.
The Managing Director of AEDC, Engr. Ernest Mpwaya represented by the Director Risk Officer, Mr Collins Chabuka who said the organisation was already feeling the negative effect of the debt and therefore solicited the support of traditional rulers in the state for the recovery of the debt.
Mpwaya who was addressing a sensitization programme on health, safety and environmental matters in Minna yesterday said “Niger state consumers are our highest debtors, they have to do something to reduce it for us to serve the state better
“The electricity we supply we have to buy it, without money we cannot do so” he said.
He warned consumers against patronising those he described as “quacks” saying these categories of people were responsible for the series of disaster that had taken place in the state in recent times.
At the Emir of Minna’s palace the Director announced that the AEDC would compensate victims of the recent electricity explosion in the angwa biri area of Minna during which four people died and several others were injured in addition to the destruction of property worth millions of Naira.
The MD said as a first step AEDC was responsible for the treatment of one of the very seriously injured victims saying that the injured man was taken to a specialist hospital in Abuja for medical attention.
“We have done our own calculation as far as the compensation is concerned we are only waiting for the regulatory agency to give us the go ahead”
In his remarks when he received the top management team of the AEDC in his palace Alhaji Umar Farouq Bahago appreciated the improvement in electricity supply in his emirate in recent times but said a 24 hour supply would boost businesses and generate employment which would translate to improved income for the organization.
The royal father pledged his support and that of his subjects to the AEDC adding that “we will assist you in the protection of your installations”.