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SSA On Power Moves To Resolve Power Related Issues In Akwa Ibom

By MICHAEL DADA
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The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Power, Dr. Victor Udohas expressed dissatisfaction over an incident in Eket LGA where the PHEDC Business Manager was harassed by residents over payment ofelectricity bills.

Residents in Eket LGA misinterpreted a publication of National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) which put fix charges at N700 to mean that they will no longer pay more than N700 for electricity bills.

The situation was further compounded when there was a suggestion during a town hall meeting that residents should not pay more than the N700 fix charge and no PHEDC staff should be allowed to operate in the area.

Dr. Udo who spoke during the monthly operational stakeholders meeting held in his office said “such a suggestion was unfortunate because PHEDC is a private entity regulated by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)”

He explained that the fix charge stipulated by NERC did not imply that electricity consumers will only pay N700 because electricity charges are supposed to correspond with the amount of consumption.

The SSA who doubles as the Managing Director of Ibom Power Company said that “more power is available for consumption in the State because Ibom Power Plant is currently producing over 100MW and a large percentage of the power is used within the State.”

He added that “since more power is available in the State it implies that more power is being consumed. Therefore, consumers will be expected to pay more because they are consuming more power than in previous times.”

He however urged PHEDC Business Managers not to endanger the lives of their staff and to avoid hostile areas until the issue has been resolved. He said “no revenue collection is worth the life of anybody”

Speaking further, the SSA said “the Management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) should install prepaid meters for customers who have paid and avoid estimated billing”

He added that a meeting has been scheduled with the Chief Executives of NERC, PHEDC and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to resolve other power related issues affecting AkwaIbom State.