The Niger state government says it had paid over N3 billion to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for debts owed it over a period of four years.
Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG), said this at a press conference in Minna, on Wednesday.
Our correspondent reports that AEDC had on April 15, issued a notice to disconnect all government facilities from power supply over the N1.9 billion debt owed it by the state government.
It was reported that the company went ahead and disconnected all government facilities such as the state house of assembly complex, state secretariat, office of the SSG, waterboard and all government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Matane, however, disagreed with the debt claims by AEDC, saying that the state government had invested over N3 billion in the company for the purchase of transformers and other services.
“Two weeks ago we had a discussion with them as regards the current value of the bills that the state government was owing them.
“We came to a conclusion that while trying to review the claims, we paid about N40 million as against the N100 million being claimed for the month of March.
“But while we were still discussing the matter, they went ahead to disconnect us,” he said
Matane said that about 50 per cent of the alleged N1.9 billion was part of the debt left by the precious administration, adding that the state government was a shareholder in the North/South power with about 10 per cent.
The SSG said that the state government pays N46 million monthly to the company, adding that government had also engaged a private consultant to verify the validity of the claims made by the AEDC.
He said that the present administration was a responsible government that had always created an enabling environment for investors and private organisations to thrive.
Matane also assured the general public that efforts were ongoing to revive water supply to residents as soon as possible.