While consumers of electricity in Cross River State continue to experience prolonged hours of blackout, authorities of the Port Harcourt Distribution Company, PHED, have revealed that consumers who do not have electricity will no longer be served bills.
Chukwuemeka Emmanuel Otuji, Head, Integrated Business Centre, Calabar, made this revelation when he granted the Organised Private Sector, OPS, in Cross River State audience. Otuji informed the OPS that the blackout experienced in the state is traceable to a fault on the 132 KVA line running between Itu in Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, Cross River State. It was however discovered by www.calitown.com that capacity limitations in power generation and poor power infrastructure are also combining to leave electricity consumers in the state without electricity.
The OPS led by the President of the Calabar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Thelma Bello, expressed dissatisfaction at the poor service rendered by PHED and wondered why the company has made no deliberate efforts to get things right. Bello also frowned at the estimated bills policy of the company, stating clearly that it was a fraud used to exploit consumers.
She took the company to task on the absence of an Electricity Consumers’ Forum in the state as obtainable in other states, consumers being compelled by PHED officials to pay for the repair of broken down electricity transformers, fencing of the transformers, illegal collection of money by PHED, the issue of fixed maintenance charge and finally submitted that businesses in the state can no longer function optimally because all of their profits have been ploughed into power generation.
Responding, Otuji stated clearly that he does not let customers repair power infrastructure while admitting that they have a shortage of manpower to handle repairs and maintenance. He however promised that the company is working round the clock to tackle the issues raised hoping that in no distant future all will be put right.
On the OPS entourage were the President Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Cross River/Akwa Ibom states, Iniobong Jackson, Maggie Ndoma-Egba, Ken Asim-Ittah, Executive Secretary, Calabar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others.
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