04 November 2015, Abakaliki – Two months after electricity was disconnected in the whole of Afikpo North Local Government of Ebonyi State, following attacks on the personnel and facilities of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, the state Governor, Chief David Umahi, has appealed to the distribution company to restore electricity to communities on or before Monday next week.
Umahi spoke at the Government House, Abakaliki when the management and board of the EEDC led by their Chairman , Chief Emeka Offor paid him a courtesy visit, noting that, the people of the area had shown remorse over the attacks by their youths on EEDC facilities and personnel.
He also expressed satisfaction with the humility demonstrated by Chief Offor in handling the disagreement between the state government and the electricity distribution company, over billing. According to the governor, the government was being billed N35 million monthly instead of N18 million.
“Ebonyi people have suffered so much in the hands of the EEDC over the issue of metering,” he said and enjoined the company to supply meters to consumers in the state without further delay. He however, promised that his government would give the company 100 percent cooperation in recovering the debts owed by some individuals, and institutions hitherto paid for by the state government.
Umahi said that the government had procured 25 transformers for Abakaliki Urban, and urged the company to refund the cost of the transformers and all other funds invested in the sector. He assured that the government would pay for any electricity consumed saying, “if we consume electricity, we must pay”.
The governor appealed to the people of the state to pay their bills and to continue to be patient with the company as it had promised that the problem of metering would soon be over.
He stated that the government would soon meet with the Chairmen of Local Government Areas to work out ways of protecting EEDC facilities across the state, from vandalism and theft, adding that a bill to that effect would soon be sent to the state House of Assembly for its consideration.
Earlier, Offor had said that his team was in the state to solicit the support of the government in the operations of the company and to resolve all areas of disagreement between them. “From today onwards, we will make sure that we do things together as partners in business,” he added, assuring that the EEDC would not engage in anything that would defraud the government.
He further said that the company would by December, roll out its plan for metering in the state. The EEDC boss then appealed to Umahi to assist the company by talking to the people on the need to protect EEDC facilities against theft and vandalism.
The Managing Director of EEDC, Mr. Robert Dickerman, assured the governor that electricity supply would be restored in Afikpo North area before Monday next week.as well as improved power supply to all parts of the state.