(L-R) Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, Dr. Henry Ajagbawa and the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6 Division, Nigerian Army Port Harcourt, Major General Felix Agugo, during the GOC visit to the PHED office in Port Harcourt
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, Dr. Henry Ajagbawa has assured that he will ensure steady power supply is returned to Port Harcourt, Rivers State and other states under its coverage.
This as the PHED boss has disclosed that the electricity firm will soon embark on mass disconnection of defaulting customers in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states, over electricity debt of N166billion.
Dr. Henry Ajagbawa, disclosed this on Friday, when the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6 Division, Nigerian Army Port Harcourt, Major General Felix Agugo, paid the company a courtesy visit in Port Harcourt.
Ajagbawa, said the mass disconnection, which is codenamed “Operation Storm” was initiated by the management in order to sustain the company and indeed the power sector from imminent collapse.
He regretted that the huge debt owed the company amounting to over N166billion was no longer tolerable, hence the need to recover it at all cost.
He wondered why defaulting customers would see electricity as a social service, advising that such misconception should be changed.
“Every defaulting customer in our franchise area will be visited and disconnected by the dedicated taskforce teams on constant patrol.”
‘The major issue is non payment of bills by customers. We are been owed over N166billion in the four states of our operation.
“Customers with disputable bill are, therefore, urged to avail themselves the opportunity by visiting any PHED office closest to them for on the spot bill reconciliation.
“PHED would continue to improve on service delivery to its customers but, this could be complemented through payment of electricity bill.
“Serious effort is ongoing and Akwa Ibom is going to be a test case, the state government is doing well. I am going to to light up Port Harcourt within the constraint we have. We are going to engage our customers”.
The PHED boss who appreciated the GOC for the visit stressed “Our policy with a responsible organization is that they should pay the current bill and we negotiate for the accumulated bills”.
Meanwhile, the GOC of 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Felix Agugo has lauded the new PHED boss for his determined effort to ensure a steady power supply across the states of coverage.
Major General Agugo, who made the commendation regretted that consumers pay more than the power they consume. He called for collaboration of the Army and PHED in their service to the public and promised to provide security when needed.
However, he urged the management of the PHED to metre the barracks for proper regulation of bills.
Agugo said “We are used to having on parts and parcel of what government provides. It is distressful that soldiers goes around on patrol and at the end of the day they come back to the barrack and found out that there s no light. If everybody should be asked to pay electricity bill, soldiers and officers will respond.
“We understand that our bills have accumulated, but let us see how we can work together and metre the barracks, so as to know how to regulate and clear bills if accumulated.
“We also want you to improve on your power supply. If there is anywhere you want us to help you, maybe in terms of security, let us know, we will be ready to offer help”, Maj Gen Agugo added.