POWER OUTAGE: GOV. EMMANUEL REPORTS PHEDC TO NERC OVER POOR PERFORMANCE
Provoked by the protracted cases of power outage in Akwa Ibom State despite government’s huge investment in the power sector, Governor Udom Emmanuel has petitioned Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Governor Emmanuel has accused the PHEDC of refusal to distribute electricity produced by Ibom power plant to customers in the state.
He said that it had been observed that despite playing host to an independent Power Plant, many parts of Akwa Ibom State had continued to experience total blackout as the distribution company was often observed to provide power whenever estimated bills are due for distribution.
Such downward trend, he said, has continued to create resistance from electricity consumers who now consider continued payment of outrageous bills for power not consumed as daylight robbery.
Residents of Asutan Street, Ikpa Road, Ikot Ekpene Road, Urua Ekpa and other parts of Uyo have continued to bitterly complain of being compelled to pay for electricity neither seen nor consumed, all due to the fear of losing their connections.
Governor Udom Emmanuel’s petition is therefore in response to the increasing complaints by electricity consumers in the state over alleged perennial power outage besides exorbitant monthly electricity bills arising from estimated billing system without commiserate consumption and other malpractices people of the state are made to face.
In execution of its quasi judicial function, Section 46 of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 empowers NERC to conduct hearings following receipt of petitions from aggrieved persons in accordance with Rule 14 of NERC Business Rules 2006. NERC has invited PHEDC for a hearing on the matter.
Shedding light on the governor’s petition, Mr. Meyen Etukudoh, the Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Power, has explained that the main reason the Governor Emmanuel dragged the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was occasioned by persistent complaints by consumers against the poor electricity supply in the state, despite the huge resources spent by the Emmanuel’s administration on power.
Etukudoh who also doubles as the Managing Director, Ibom Power Company Limited, stated this while reacting to recent reports in certain media outlets insinuating that the state governor had taken the PHEDC to the court because of the abysmal power situation in the state.
He, however, stated that there was no litigation between the state government and the PHEDC as the public was made to believe, but, that the state governor was angered by the way electricity consumers were being treated.
The Special Assistant disclosed that Akwa Ibom State would soon take delivery of 38,000 units of pre-paid electricity metres from the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Limited (PHEDC) to distribute to consumers.