John Adams, Minna
The Niger Open Forum have asked the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to leave the state following a vote of no confidence passed against the power company over what they call “unacceptable services” to consumers.
At an awareness event organaised by “The Blue Revolutionaries” in Minna, the Forum, expressing displeasure over the quality of their services, asked the AEDC “to pack and go”.
The grouse of the youth organisation stems from the drop in electricity supply from the minimum of six hours daily to just three hours in most of the central Nigerian state.
The Forum was further angered by the continued issuance of “crazy estimated bills” to customers and the refusal of the AEDC to distribute pre-paid meters despite its announcement that it had over 55,000 at its office meant for distribution.
Dauda Hussain Paiko, a participant at the forum titled ‘Electricity Supply and Development in Niger State’, called for the liberalisation of the activities of the AEDC, suggesting that government consider solar power, coal and gas as alternative sources of energy.
Government, Paiko said, should fund and licence companies that would explore alternative energy options, allowing them to compete with other power generation companies in the country.
The youths complained that the PHCN was sold to AEDC as a “family inheritance” and has been handled “as family property.”
Another stakeholder, Yahaya Dauda, insinuated that staff of the AEDC were engaged in pilfering money paid by consumers, and suggested that “communities should be allowed to collect payments made by electricity consumers and pay to the AEDC.
“By the time you do this for two or three months you will see the difference; AEDC will know consumers are paying, contrary to what the company is claiming.”
At the conclusion of the forum, stakeholders asked for the deregulation of the AEDC and establishment of new power generation outfits.
Representing AEDC Business Manager, Mr David Ofene blamed the drop in electricity supply in the state on “natural disaster which we are trying overcome.”
The stakeholders did not accept Ofene’s explanation, however, as some participants walked out on the AEDC representative one after the other.