Govt Calls For Improved Electricity As Youths Protest Poor Supply In Minna | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Govt Calls For Improved Electricity As Youths Protest Poor Supply In Minna

Posted: Mar 14, 2016 at 11:39 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chinwendu Nnadozie, Minna

Niger State Government has called on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to consider increasing power supply to Minna, the state capital, and its environs to help in ameliorating the sufferings of residents.
The state government’s call for improved power supply is coming on the heels of peaceful protest by youths of Dutsen Kura-Gwari and series of complaints from other stakeholders over epileptic electricity supply by the AEDC.
Before the recent peaceful protest, another group from Maitumbi area had a running battle with the AEDC over poor electricity supply, which led to the deaths of a police officer, the community leader and his son.
The call for improved power supply to parts of the state, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa said, has become necessary to avoid consistent clashes between the AEDC and Nigerlites, which could lead to breakdown of law and order.
Vatsa said he had heard severally about youths trying to take laws into their hands over bottled-up anger and frustrations caused by the epileptic power supply and the threats to vent their frustrations on the AEDC is what the government is trying to avert.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) government is getting worried that citizens are suffering epileptic power supply, this he said constituted to the slowing down of the implementation of the socio-economic policies and programmes of the state.
“Niger State is housing Nigeria’s three major hydro dams; Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba but Nigerlites are suffering want of electricity for their domestic and commercial uses”, Vatsa said, appealing to the company to improve on power supply to the state.
The commissioner said the government would not wait until the state was turned into a theatre of war, if the youths who have complained severally and bitterly about poor power supply break loose from bottled-up anger against the AEDC.
“As a government, we listen to the people who voted for us and the only way we can discourage them from being confrontational in their agitations for improved power supply is to call on the AEDC to improve electricity supply”, he said.
Vatsa, however, argued that inasmuch as the government was not encouraging youths to cause breach of peace in their agitations for equity and fairness in electricity distribution, as a government “we are under obligations to listen to them and that is what we have done”.
Insufficient electricity supply has always inflicted cyclical and multiplier effects on all aspects of human endeavour, for instance, Niger State water board cannot pump water to Minna metropolis from Chanchaga water works, Vatsa said, arguing that the current administration cannot continue to watch citizens suffer due to no fault of theirs.
Niger State government will not be asking too much demanding for improved power supply for citizens to create wealth and improve on their socio-economic wellbeing, the commissioner said as he called on the company to as a matter of deliberate policy increase its daily distribution plans by dedicating a certain percentage of the power allocated to the state.