The Niger state Assembly committee on Labour and productivity chaired by Hon. Malik Madaki on Wednesday, had an interface with AEDC representatives, Mr Saidu Gobe Abdullahi and Mr Oyebode fadikpe. The meeting was aimed at reaching an agreement on how Nigerlites will get stable power supply.
Madaki in his opening remark said it was the AEDC that requested for the meeting after receiving the resolutions forwarded to them which included an ultimatum of ‘if our demands are not met after 21 working days, we will embark on a protest that will lead to the shutting down of the three hydro dams in the state.”
Madaki expressed his worries on the blackout in Niger state. He said “government, politicians and well meaning Nigerlites over the years have bought transformers, Armored cable, poles, meters etc. Still the power supply is epileptic. AEDC has not given back to Nigerlites by building infrastructures.” He further said that ” even if Nigerlites don’t pay that we are entitled to 24hrs power supply because we own the dams and the dams have been wrecking havoc by spillage, flooding farmlands and causing our people to move out of their homes.
When asked by the committee on the reason for the epileptic power supply in the state, Mr Oyebode Fadikpe said “what we give to Niger state is 100 megawatts of energy and the system expects us to collect back the money for the 100 megawatts and remit. So that the likes of Shiroro, Jeba, kainji, Geregu, Egbin, and other power stations all over the country can also have money to buy gas Which is a major component for the generation of electricity. Admittedly the ones in Niger state for which we refer to as the power state are purely hydro but our power system is skilled in the favour of gas. Hydro is 15% while gas is 85%. It will not be in the favour of the power sector if you say a customer should not pay because it will seem like the money comes to the discos 100%. On the issue of metering customers themselves are the drivers of metering.
When customers pay, they are expected to be metered. All customers cannot pay at the same time that is why there is meter service charge which allows customers to pay on installments. And it is opened to every customer who wants to get a meter, We appeal to customers to take advantage of the opportunity. In relation to tunga feeder, which has been metered up to 80% the remaining 20% customers who live within the tunga axis can also take advantage of the meter service charge so that at the end of the day we will have an entire feeder with meters. Tunga feeder gives us the opportunity to test run whatever amount of energy. The whole power in Nigeria can be diverted to that location provided customers are willing to pay, so that other members of the value chain will receive their portion of the financial commitment that is due to them. “
On hours of supply, Mr Oyebode Fadikpe offered 8hrs which was rejected by the committee. He moved on to 12hrs which was also turned down. The committee insisted on 20hrs daily power supply.
Fadikpe said ” my hands are tied because we are restricted regulatory positions. The power sector is highly regulated, we are not allowed to unilaterally take certain decisions outside the confines of the regulatory instruments. If the 8hrs is declined, we move to 12hrs but there are conditions attached to it.”
When asked by Nigerwatch Newspaper correspondent on the position of the youths, the state chairman National youth council of Nigeria Bello Barau Sheriff said ” lots of our youths lost their jobs because of the issue of unstable power supply and if our demands are not met, we will mobilize and do the needful”
The meeting ended in a deadlock as both parties could not reach an agreement.