The Niger State Government has promised to restore water supply to consumers Thursday.
The Secretary to the Government, Mr Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, gave the insurance in Minna on Wednesday while addressing newsmen.
Water supply to consumers in the state capital had been cut since last Saturday when the Abuja Electricity Development Company (AEDC) disconnected electricity supply to the Chanchaga Water Works and other public buildings including the office of the Secretary to the State Government and the state secretariat complex over an accumulated debt put at nearly N2 billion.
Matane disputed the figure made public by the AEDC, saying a consultant had been engaged to verify the debt profile.
According to him, the government has over the years spent over N3 billion on the purchase of electric transformers and supply of electricity to some towns and villages which ordinarily should be the responsibility of the AEDC.
“This too (N3bn) we have a consultant that is looking into how much the AEDC is to refund to the state since it is their responsibility to provide transformers and extend electricity to towns and villages.
“AEDC as a business entity has a responsibility to be responsive to the need of its customers, but in order not to appear irresponsible, government has been footing most of their responsibilities like purchase of transformers and other inputs.
“We encourage them to be responsive and decided to help out to cover N3bn, yet at the middle of reconciling figures they embarked on the disconnection exercise including sensitive institutions like the water works,” Matane lamented.
He said government is outraged by the disconnection of the water works which is already causing untold hardship for water consumers in the state capital despite the Water Works paying AEDC a monthly bill of N46 million.
“As a government, we assure the general public that public water supply will be restored by Thursday as the government will do all within its power to resolve its difference with AEDC to restore power in order to commence water supply,” he said.
Meanwhile, an official of the AEDC, who spoke to THISDAY on condition of anonymity, said the only condition that will make power supply to be restored is for the government to pay the balance on January – March bills and that of April put at N114 million.
The official said the decision was taken at a meeting with government held in Abuja on Wednesday.
Culled from THISDAY