BY MICHAEL EBOH
SAPELE – A retiree, Chief Vincent Nakpodia, has lamented the non-payment of a three-year rent owed him by Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, for the use of his property.
Napkodia, who spoke to Vanguard, said PHCN occupied his property on Igbuya Drive, GRA, Sapele, Delta State, but failed to pay rent for three years, as he was made to spend so much on transportation to ask for the rent with its attendant risks.
He called on the Minister of Power and the authorities to come to his aid and help recover his money, particularly, as PHCN was in the process of been sold.
Narrating how it all started, he said he was approached early 1985 by officials of PHCN headquarters, then National Electric Power Authority, NEPA, in Lagos, through his now late elder brother, who was a NEPA director of the property, for him to let same out to the authority.
He said: “It was through NEPA headquarters in Lagos, that I was approached over the Sapele property. They occupied the building from 1985 through 2006. They were paying regularly till 2003 and never paid thereafter till 2006.”
“At the time, the rent was N150,000 per annum. But I notified them through a letter on December 7, 2005 of rent increment and they pleaded that they were going to leave as the grade of the official occupying the property in Sapele was not up to the type to accommodate the property.
“It later turned out that all PHCN correspondences with me on the issue were nothing but empty deal: six years after, it persistently reneges on its own side. It quitted without notice for the said joint inspection and its promised cheque never came till now.
“I would have sue PHCN to court over the matter and the untold hardship they made me pass through. But because of the nature of the Nigerian court, I can’t.
“I had written them many times. They asked me to forward my account details, I did and nothing happened. I had gone to Abuja many times spending huge amount of money on flights, accommodation simply because they asked me to come for my money and they still did not pay me.
“I hired a lawyer, who wrote to them and had even travelled to Abuja to no avail. Series of phone calls had been exchanged without positive results. They ought to have paid in advance but it is arrears of many years now. I am calling on the Minister of Power and whoever is in charge of PHCN to come to my aid, particularly now that they are selling PHCN,” he added