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Hope for a significant and immediate improvement on power supply for Abuja Streetlights was kindled yesterday when the Managing Director of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company – AEDC, Engr. Ernest Mapwaya, paid the FCT Minister a courtesy call in his office yesterday, Wednesday, 01 November 2017.

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, had at the occasion given guarantee of a steady and regular cash flow to the Company because of the strategic importance of streetlights for security, commerce and tourism in the City.

The FCT Minister, who had paid up to N1billion to the Company, since assumption of office, also indicated that the bills have to be metered so that the Administration knows what it is paying for.

Said the Minister, “as long as consumption is estimated based on subjective criteria, it is not going to be helpful to us. There is no need to spend unnecessary man hours just going over bills that can simply be done by leveraging the metering technology.”  

Alluding to the 21 generating sets already installed by his administration as standbys, the Minister expressed concern over the negative implication of strewing major streets with backup power sources which he noted could cause pollution as well as disrupt the aesthetics of the Abuja city landscape.

FCT Minister used the occasion to reiterate his appeal to the electricity distribution company to meter all the streetlight facilities in the territory so as to ensure that government is billed fairly for its electricity consumption and to remove any ambiguities.

In his remarks, the AEDC boss revealed that FCT had paid N1Billion Naira as part of the debt owed the Company by past FCT administrations, while commending the Administration for the gesture.

Mr. Mapwaya, while agreeing that it was necessary to prioritize power supply to the FCT assured that the Company will give special attention to the streetlights, effective, Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

The MD however expressed concern over the activities of vandals in the territory, saying that 11 out of its 21 power substations were currently not powering electricity having been put out of service by vandals  

He said, “We will work on an emergency plan to ensure that 11 of the 21 substations which are not powering light now, because they were vandalized, are going to be restored on the strength of the assurances given by the Honourable Minister.”

He solicited the collaboration of the FCT Administration in the arrangement that would be made to secure the facilities, once they were repaired, stressing, “the last thing we want is for somebody to go there again and vandalize them.

“In going forward, we will ensure that as our biggest customer, we will give you the desired priority, as it is from your revenue that we can actually change the outlook of our balance sheet. Anytime we receive payment from FCT, it changes our working capital. We are able to do a few things which we are always constrained from.”

Mr. Mapwaya further assured, “we are committed to bringing an improvement in the streetlights and will start this evening as soon as we leave this office. There are some things that we can do. It is true that the status of light in the streets speaks volumes of us as a company. If we cannot demonstrate that we can power the streetlights, it will tell on our image, because the streetlights are very visible.”

 

Cosmas Uzodinma

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