Posted by News Express | 25 August 2019 | 320 times
Residents in Yenagoa have expressed the hope that the lifting of the sanctions imposed on the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would translate to improved power supply.
TCN, last Tuesday, announced the lifting of a suspension order from the electricity market it placed on the PHEDC since July 27, for breach of 'Market Conditions and Participation Agreement.
According to the TCN notice available on its portal, the lifting of the sanction, which followed PHEDC’s compliance, took effect on Monday.
The PHEDC and TCN had been shifting blames on the poor power supply in Bayelsa, with the TCN saying that the PHEDC was unable to take up available power at its substation in Yenagoa while the PHEDC alleged that it was not getting enough power from the TCN grid.
The face-off subsequently led to the sanction by the TCN.
Some residents in Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital said that the consumers were the ones bearing the brunt of the disagreement between TCN and PHEDC adding that small businesses were the worst hit.
While reacting to the development, Ebikeme Joseph, a barber, said that the resolution was a welcome development as he expects improved power supply.
“I really do not understand how the power sector works but it is interesting to know that PHEDC can also be called to order by other parties. The power situation in Bayelsa has forced many small businesses to close shop.
“I hope they sit up and improve on their services and make the atmosphere suitable for us,” Joseph said.
Mr. Seyefa Bio who resides in Opolo area of Yenagoa said that he was not optimistic that the suspension of the sanction would make any difference as the company lacks the capacity to serve the people of Bayelsa.
“I am not enthused about the lifting of the suspension; it will not make any difference because over the years the PHEDC has operated the system of estimated billing and compelling millions of customers to pay for power not consumed against the rules of the regulators.
“This same company was fined for N35 million by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in 2016 for failure to submit its audited accounts for three consecutive years, so you see why I am not optimistic?” Bio said.
In reaction to the development, the spokesman of PHEDC, Mr. John Onyi, said that the lifting of the suspension would improve the service delivery of the power distribution company adding that the company was weighed down by a debt of about N161bn.
Onyi said that residential customers in Bayelsa owed the firm over N146bn while the debt stock for commercial customers stood at about N14.6bn.
He noted that the indebtedness by its customers was hampering the operations of the company.
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