Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has cried out that Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) is killing small and medium scale enterprises in the state due to power outage since the beginning of the year.
He made this startling remark in Minna on Tuesday when he received youth under the aegis of “#Occupy AEDC” protesting the continued blackout the state has suffered in the last one year from the epileptic power supply by the distribution company.
The governor lamented that the blackout being experienced in the state since the beginning of the year has paralysed business activities in the state warning that the development was unacceptable.
According to him most of the youths who are artisans have closed shops as they cannot not afford to practice their trade on generators and break even.
He also blamed the poor water supply in the state to the blackout arguing that the lack of power supply has not only affected the waterworks “it has destroyed and burnt many pumps”.
The governor who had at several fora declared the persistent blackout as unacceptable told the protesting youth that he had formally complained to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Power adding that he had series of meetings with officials of AEDC over the blackout.
”Today, with this peaceful protest, I am glad I am not alone in this fight to restore power supply back to our state. I have met with President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Minister of Power as well as the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company on the need for improvement in power supply to the state.
” We have tried all possible means to ensure improvement of power supply in the state. It is surprising that Niger state alone generates over 1000 mega watts for the whole country but we are still the one experiencing blackout “. He added.
The governor who commended the peaceful protest assured the youth that the plight of the people will be made know to the President. “I want to assure you all that Mr. President will surely get to know your outcry,” he stated.
The leader of the protesters, Comrade Mohammed Aliyu Mohammed told the governor that the group had given the management of the AEDC to restore steady supply of electricity within 24 hours or face the wrath of the youths.
“It is disheartening that as host of various power plants supplying electricity in the country, Niger could go without light for months.
“Majority of Nigerlites are youth and we are the worst hit as some of us cannot carry out their source of livelihood due to blackout. This development is not acceptable,” Mohammed lamented.