Port Harcourt — The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has attributed the power outage currently being experienced in Rivers State to the shutting down of Afam Transmission Lines by some group of youths in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State.
SweetCrude Reports gathered that the youths had marched in their numbers to the Transmission Station in Afam, forcing the operators to shutdown supply, over insufficient power supply despite playing hosts to six power plants.
Speaking, the management of PHEDC, said the youths erroneously took laws into their hands after demanding for a 24hours power supply, stating that such demands negate the Disco’s efforts for equitable supply following the load allocation formula from the national grid.
Acting Manager, Corporate Communications, PHED, Mrs. Chioma Aninwe, said as at July 2020, the debt profile of Afam was running into billions, as the community has refused to pay for power supply, with the mindset that electricity was a form of social service.
Aninwe called on the law enforcement agencies and the Rivers State Government to intervene in the matter and put a final stop to the frequent disruption of power distribution by communities, over a slightest power challenge in the state.
“PHEDC received a disturbing report at about 21:04pm last night, that some group of persons known as Oyigbo Youths had shut down Afam Transmission lines thereby throwing the entire Port Harcourt and indeed Rivers State into darkness.
“This ugly incident which has become the order of the day, is as a result of acclaimed insufficient power supply to their area by these Oyigbo Youths.
“The youths in their erroneous belief took laws into their hands and marched in their numbers to the Transmission Station, forcing the operators to shut down supply without observing safety measures.”
Aninwe recalled that PHED had previously held several meetings with the community leadership, enlightening them on load allocation formula from the National Grid and the need for PHED to apply systematic load shedding, in order to accommodate all its customers.
“All these attempts have proved futile as Oyigbo youths insisted on a 24-hour supply, a situation that negates the effort of PHED in ensuring equitable distribution of supply to our numerous customers.
“Added to this, is the worsening situation of non-payment of electricity bill by the community with the majority seeing electricity as a social service. As at July 2020, the debt profile in Afam Community stood at over some billions of Naira.
“PHEDC condemns in its entirety this action of the youth, and hereby, draws the attention of the law enforcement agencies and the Rivers State Government to come to our aid, to put a final stop to this frequent disruption of power distribution to customers at the slightest power challenge in the State.”