A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

PHED at odds with Rivers communities over persistent blackout

*Power outage.

Mkpoikana Udoma

18 September 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has disagreed with 19 communities in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, over consistent blackout in the area for over three months.

This comes as the Chairman, Etche Electricity Committee, Mr. Nnamdi Nwuche, had accused the disco of perpetually throwing the 19 communities into darkness for more than three months even after expressing their readiness to pay for power supplied.

Nwuche lamented that PHED in spite of being aware that the 19 communities had been in darkness for three months, was still sending bills to them and demanded that they pay for the energy they did not consume.

“For the past three to four months now, there has been no light in Etche and PHED is still demanding us to pay pills that when we did not even see light.

“We are saying, therefore, that if you charge us, we will pay for energy consumed. Besides, they should come and install prepaid meters for us. That would even save us from all these problems.”

He pleaded with PHED to restore power supply to the 19 communities as their businesses have suffered great loss while appealing to the Etche Council boss to ensure that power supply is restored to the area in no distant time.

“I appeal to the Etche Local Government Chairman and other well-meaning individuals to do everything they can to ensure that power is restored to the area so that residents and business owners would enjoy constant power supply.”

Meanwhile, the management of PHED has said that the power supply situation in the area was as a result of non-payment of electricity bills by the communities, as well as load shedding due to the amount.

The Corporate Communications Manager of the company, Mr. John Onyi, explained that the community owes the disco N517.3million as at September 2018 and that the monthly consumption bill for the community is N8.7million.

Onyi, stated that it is untrue that the company sends bills to communities that have been disconnected, adding that any persons who is having billings issues should come to the corporate office of the company for rectification.

According to him, “Some of these communities were disconnected as a result of non-payment of bills. Remember our business is not a charity organization, customers should learn how to pay for what they have consumed.

“The accumulated bill for these 19 communities is N517.3million as at September 2018. If they are having a billing issue, they should come to our office so we can rectify it.

“Also, some of the communities are not having supply as a result of load-shedding due to the volume of megawatts we receive from the national grid.”

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