By Emem Idio
YENAGOA—AGGRIEVED residents of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, on the platform of Association of Bulk-Bill Electricity Consumers, ABEC, yesterday, took to the streets, protesting what they described as “100 percent arbitrary increase in electricity tariff by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, without any justification.”
The protesters, in their hundreds, wielded placards with inscriptions such as “Bayelsans reject 100 percent increase,” “We say no to Agidi backyard business,” “Agidi is defrauding Bayelsans,” “We are peace-loving people, we don’t want crisis,” among others.
The protesters called on PHEDC to reverse the increment within 24 hours or they will shut down activities of PHEDC in the area.
According to the residents, the sudden increment was imposed on them by a sub-contracting firm to PHEDC, Agidi Energy and Tools Limited, without any justification.
State Chairman of ABEC, Mr. Ebi Ozegbe, stated that before now, each transformer was paying between N100,000 and N200,000, depending on the population of the area, but that they were now being forced to pay N400,000 per transformer.
According to Mr. Ozegbe, neither members of the association nor the public were informed or called to a roundtable before the increment, causing more hardship on the people.
Efforts to reach the Business Manager of PHEDC were not successful as he neither responded to his calls nor replied SMS sent to his cell phone.
Chief Consultant of Agidi Energy and Tools, Engr. Steve, could also not be reached as his cell phone was switch-off.