24 August 2014, Yenagoa – The Yenagoa Business Unit of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company has said vandalism of electricity transformers and outright stealing are the reasons for the load shedding currently experienced by consumers in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The business unit receives between 34-50 megawatts out of load demand of 60 megawatts which is not enough, John Onyi, PHEDC’s Public Affairs Manager, said in Yenagoa on Thursday.
Onyi’s explanation came on the heels of increasing complaints by consumers in Yenagoa and its environs about erratic power supply, over-billing, among others, charged by the company.
“What the business unit receives from the national grid is not enough. This has necessitated it to embark on load shedding among the five 33KV feeders serving the city,” Onyi said.
He also said only 2,585 customers out of a customer population of 12,350, paid their electricity bills for the month of July, 2014.
He said the business unit had lost 10 distribution transformers ranging from 200kva-250kva to the nefarious activities of vandals.
He said the company had identified Gwegwe Street, Ebis Mechanic Road, Ministry of Tourism, Bossy Water Tombia Road, Mgbongbon Plaza, Opolo Housing Estate and Sani Abacha Expressway as areas in the state capital badly affected by the unwholesome acts of vandalism.
Onyi said the business unit had also recorded a loss of about 65 per cent of revenue to energy theft since its inception in November last year.
He decried the harassment, intimidation and physical assualt of company employees while “pursuing our legitimate duties in debt recovery.”
He stressed that it was when bills were paid for energy consumed that the company could remain in business.
He urged the neighbourhoods to step up vigilance and report suspicious movement around installations to law enforcement agencies for prompt action as the company did not have materials in store to replace vandalised items.
Onyi also appealed to communities and individuals to stop harassing and inflicting injuiries on employees, adding that “we are not yet there in giving power supply for 24 hours.”
– The Punch