By: Emeka Samuel, Uyo
Governor, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has petitioned Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for their refusal to distribute electricity produced by Ibom power plant to customers in the state.
This followed increasing complaints by electricity consumers in the state against PHEDC over alleged perennial power outage and exorbitant monthly electricity bills arising from an estimated billing system without commiserate consumption.
Emmanuel in his petition to the regulatory body alleged that despite sufficient power generation from the state-owned Ibom power plant to provide steady and quality electricity to the entire state but PHEDC has refused to pick the load.
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 this matter.
Engr. Mayene Etokudo, Special Assistant to the Governor on Power said the state government is worried that despite her huge investment in power generation, electricity supply in the state has remained very poor.
The Governor’s aide, however, hinted that Akwa Ibom would soon take delivery of 38,000 units of prepaid electricity metres from PHEDC to distribute to consumers.
This, he added is informed by the need to respond to the demand for prepaid metres by electricity consumers in the state and in line with NERC directives against the use of estimated billing system.