Consumers quarrel with PHEDC over poor supply in Akwa Ibom
Electricity consumers and human rights groups in Akwa Ibom State, have accused the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) of poor power supply, which does not speak well of the good consumer relationships.
One of the groups, Human Rights Communities, indicted the PHEDC of consistently failing to justify the high electricity tariff it bills its consumers.
According to the Chairman of the group, Clifford Thomas, a legal practitioner, expressed shock that PHEDC has consistently starved residents of supply despite the huge investments made in the sector by the state government.
He recalled that Governor Emmanuel Udom had petitioned the PHEDC to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), over its refusal to distribute electricity produced by the Ibom Power Plant to customers in the state.
He further posited that the Governor had further taken steps to construct 132/33kva substation at Ekim in Mkpat Enin LGA, and another at Nwaniba, Uyo, and provided more than 452 transformers to communities in the state.
He expressed support for the Governor’s idea to explore the possibility of a state-owned power distribution company.
A resident, Mrs Arit Inyang lamented that electricity was only supplied whenever the company was about to circulate bills.
“They also came with the meter, where an N5,000 unit could not take us a week in a small one-bedroom flat with just lighting points and television.
“What do you also call a situation where a transformer is down for a whole year, and the moment the community rallies round to fix the transformer by themselves, you resurface with a bill of N104,000 or more. PHEDC is extremely corrupt! They force us to pay for darkness because we want to protect our wires.”
Another consumer, Ekpenyong Udeme, accused PHEDC of fraud through the exploitation of its consumers, alleging that the company had gone ahead to implement increment in tariff, against the Presidential directive to stay action to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians.
He said having expended over N15,1000 on a prepaid meter, he had shut down on their services and opted for the use of a generator for his power supply.