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Group warns PHEDC to desist from frivolous claim of electricity bills to continue blackout in Bayelsa .Endorses IYC action

By Our Correspondent

   A leading peaceful, socio-economic and development-oriented organization under the auspices of Bayelsa Coalition for Dynamic Change (BCDC) has warned the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) to desist from frivolous claims and acts capable of continuing the epileptic power supply and blackout in Bayelsa state.
Mr Inegbagha Majesty

    The group issued the warning today in Yenagoa while reacting against a purported online publication accredited to one Mr John Onyi, PHEDC, Manager Corporate Communication alleging that electricity consumers in the state owed PHEDC N16.5bn.
   Speaking with Journalists, its National Coordinator, Mr Inegbagha Majesty said, the PHEDC claim alleging that electricity consumers in the state owed it N16.5bn is spurious and a calculated attempt aimed at continuing to keep the state in darkness just as it was right from the connection of the state to the national grid.
  Mr Inegbagha emphatically maintained that the PHEDC cannot substantiate it claim that electricity consumers of the state who have been experiencing perpetual epileptic power supply and blackout in the state, in days, weeks and months,  and were regularly paying electricity bills for darkness since it’s commencement of  operation would owe PHEDC N16.5bn.
  He  added that electricity consumers in the state owes PHEDC zero electricity bill pointing out that the state has not in any way enjoy tangible and justifiable electricity supply.
  According to him PHEDC has not in any way live up to its statutory responsibilities of ensuring constant electricity supply in the state since the state was linked to the national grid some years ago.
  Apart from that the organization noted that PHEDC has failed woefully to install meters at the residence of consumers and collects its electricity bills according to the rate of electricity consumption when the state was connected to the national grid till date.
    Rather, alleging that for fraudulent motives, it imposed its electricity bills monthly on the consumers whether there is electricity supply or not, based on Electricity Transformers, through Electricity Transformer Light Committees from communities link to the grid.
    The group lamented alleging that PHEDC in collaboration with its Community Electricity Transformer Light Committees has made it mandatory for consumers to pay electricity bills to PHEDC whether there is no electricity supply.
   It added that the light committees always disconnect electricity consumers who failed to pay for the darkness.
   The body recalled that consumers had warned PHEDC  severally that they will no longer  pay electricity bills for darkness; and the organization wonder how PHEDC arrived at that claim, after criminally imposed electricity bills for darkness on the consumers before it recent fracas with IYC.
   The group described the PHEDC claim of N16.5bn as fraudulent, political gimmick and a ploy to frustrate the genuine intention of the incoming administration in its electioneering campaign promises to ensure constant electricity supply in the state.
   It therefore lauded the genuine and adamant steps so far taking by the Ijaw Youth Council to ensure that the electricity consumers in the state and the state government is not defraud  by PHEDC with spurious and unsubstantiated claims.
  The body also thrown its weight behind IYC  call on the federal government to revoke the license issued to PHEDC, insisting that the firm was incompetent, describing the PHEDC, which is in charge of the state, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states as an irresponsible firm.

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