Niger State’s Head of Service, Abubakar Salisu, recently revealed that the state government has allocated more than N18 billion in the past eight years to bolster the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in fulfilling its responsibilities. This announcement came during Salisu’s address to the press following the State Executive Council meeting held in Minna.
Salisu clarified that these funds were utilized primarily for the procurement of transformers across 25 local government areas (LGAs) and for expanding the AEDC’s operational reach, among other initiatives.
Expressing his disappointment, Salisu noted that despite the significant financial support extended by the state government, its facilities continue to face frequent electricity disconnections by the AEDC.
Furthermore, Salisu disclosed that the state government has disbursed more than N3 billion during the same period to aid Southern Lapai, situated in Lapai Local Government Area (LGA), as part of efforts to provide relief to communities in the region.
Regarding the legacy debt issue, Salisu explained, “Initially Niger State Government inherited over N4 billion legacy debt, but after setting up of a committee to verify the AEDC claims, the state government arrived at N1.3 billion.
” The last administration had paid N500 million to AEDC while the present administration settled the remaining N800 million balance. Therefore, Niger State Government is no longer owing the AEDC.”
Nevertheless, Salisu expressed concerns about the excessively high bills presented to government institutions by the AEDC, specifically highlighting the Chanchaga Water Works, which is being billed a monthly sum of N50 million.
He also shared instances of exorbitant bills issued to government entities, such as a bill of N17 million to Kwasau Primary School, which only has one ceiling fan in the headmaster’s office. “Another example is the Speaker’s residence built during the era of former Governor Auwal Ibrahim that was abandoned for almost 40 years. Surprisingly, AEDC billed the residence over N8 million.”
In light of these challenges, Salisu revealed that the state government is contemplating disconnecting several energy-intensive establishments from the AEDC network to streamline administrative processes and control costs effectively.