Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello on Thursday said that the electricity tariff proposed by National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) was dead on arrival because it came at the wrong time when Nigerians are battling with economic challenges.
According to him, Nigerians have a lot of difficulties to garble with at the moment adding that the increased tariff will only make things worst than it is.
Speaking to the Board of Directors and officials of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) who visited him in his office, Bello said that the people in the state will not be able to pay the tariff about to be imposed on them by the regulators.
“The electricity tariff is coming at a wrong time because we are facing lots of difficulties at the moment as a nation. My state, Niger state is a government dependent state, most of the citizens are dependent on government finances to survive and unfortunately, we have not embarked on commercial activities or industrialization.
“Now that the government has no money, it is having a negative impact on everyone and to now request for more payments in terms of tariff is making things worse. I hope something will be done about it.”
Lamenting the deteriorated power situation in Niger state, especially the state capital in the past four months, the governor asked the distribution company to increase power distribution to the state to 40 megawatts.
“The whole state is crying and I have not been able to help. It is an indictment to me and my government. Please for the sake of peace, help me improve power supply in Niger state by 20 percent margin. When this is done, the people will know that I have done my best. Not everyone understands that it is out of my control. Please improve power distribution”, the governor appealed to AEDC officials.
He, however called on the people to have patience as development takes time to come by, “the path this administration taking is new but it is the right path to take. We are faced with some challenges, but I believe that we will eventually surmount them.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the AEDC Board of Directors, Ambassador Shehu Malami expressed the readiness of the distribution company to improve the quality of electricity supply to Niger state and its franchise area, adding that their only constrain is that they only distribute the power given to them by the generation company.
Malami stated that the days of power shortage in the state will soon be over as they are working to ensure that they are given adequate power to enable them meet the demands of their customers.
He also stated that arrangements have been made to enumerate all their customers and meter them, adding 5,000 meters would be fixed in the next couple of weeks to reduce customers on estimated billing.