Port Harcourt — Residents of Mile II, Diobu in Port Harcourt say they are awaiting the management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, on its promise to improve power supply to the area.
This is the outcome of a meeting between some leaders of the area and the managing director of the company when the community stormed the Moscow Road, Port Harcourt headquarters of PHED to protest overbilling and inadequate power supply by the company.
The protesters, numbering over hundred from various streets in Mile II, namely Akokwa, Nanka, Udi, Emenike etc, marched from Diobu to Moscow Road ringing bells, singing and with placards bearing different inscriptions such as “PHED give us light”, “PHED stop overbilling us” among others.
Leader of the protest, Mr Wisdom Akpan, said Mile II does not have up to three hours of power supply per day, but they are given N50,000 and N100,000 bills at the end of the month.
Akpan stated that they decided to protest at the head office of PHED after several efforts to get the power distribution company office in Silverbird-Diobu, to resolve the issues proved abortive.
He said: “We are all residents of Diobu. We get power supply from Nsukka and Udi feeders in Diobu. We have been suffering and they (PHED) told us we don’t have meters. We have meters, but they said our meters are isolated as they have stayed over 50 years.
“But the one that is paining us is that the feeder manager told us that we are entitled to minimum of eight hours and maximum of 12 hours, but we do not even see up to three hours a day. But they will bring bills of N100,000 every month.
“So, we decided to embark on this peaceful protest to dialogue with them. How does PHED measure our billing system that we are being billed up to N100,000 per month without power supply.”
Some appointed leaders of the protest, who later met with the management of PHED in a closed-door meeting, said the Managing Director of the company has assured them of increased power supply should they effectively pay their March electricity bills.
“From the meeting, we have been made to understand that some PHED workers have been defrauding us by not giving us adequate information.
“We have learnt that there is a code for every PHED staff. So, any PHED staff who comes to us for anything, we should demand from them their PHED staff code to be sure they are staff of the company.
“The MD of PHEDC has assured us that if we pay March bills effectively, he will ensure we are moved into band B, which means that we will have a minimum of 12 hours and maximum of 16 hours per day,” one of the leaders said.
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