25 June 2013, Umuahia — Members of Small Scale Polythene Industries in Onitsha, Anambra State, have called on President Goodluck Jonathan and governors of the South East to prevail on the Power Holding Company and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to save them from outrageous electricity bills.
The industrialists, acting under the aegis of Osakwe Industrial Cluster, claimed that about five small scale industries had shut down as a result of epileptic power outage.
The situation, the group noted, was the same in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State. The appeal was made by the Chairman of the cluster, Mr. Johnson Okolo, who lamented what his members were going through in the hands of PHCN.
He said if no urgent intervention was made by the government, small scale industries would go into extinction in the zone.
Okolo said the call became necessary, following threat by the PHCN to invade the cluster for mass disconnection for non-payment of bills he said ranged from N500,000 to N1 million.
He said the high bills were even given amid epileptic power supply to the area by PHCN. According to him, most members of the cluster cannot pay such high bills and the next alternative will be to close shops and throw hundreds of people into the labour market.
He, however, warned that the small scale industrialists had vowed to resist any attempt to invade their companies by PHCN for any illegal disconnection.
He said: “We will not accept this overbilling by PHCN. We will not tolerate illegal disconnection of light, intimidation and harassment by PHCN”.
The industrialists had previously complained of what they called high fixed charge of MYTO2 in PHCN Enugu Zone.
They also wrote to the Zonal Coordinator, Nigerian Electricity Commission, NERC, Owerri, Imo State, alleging outrageous billing of their companies.
Mr Jude Egbo, who is the Managing Director of Perfect World Global Industry Limited, said: “in January this year, I paid PHCN electricity bill of N400,000 and in February I paid N288,000 yet they disconnected power to my factory in February and gave me N500,000 and I cannot continue paying such outrageous bills and I decided to close the company, I have gone into buying and selling of goods.