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Bayelsa moves to boost electricity supply

By Samuel Oyadongha, Amarachi Uzoma & Ananaba Isioma

YENAGOA—  BAYELSA  State  Government has awarded two contracts in the power sector as part of its ongoing Operation Light Up Bayelsa programme.

This came as residents of Ozuguruo in Ikwerengwo Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, blamed Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, for alleged N18 million electricity bill they incurred.

•Gov Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa

 

The Bayelsa State contracts are for the construction of a power line between Sagbama and Ekeremor and the establishment of a five megawatts station  at Ebedebiri in Sagbama LGA..

The Commissioner for Power, Partner Jim-Ogbolo, announced this  while briefing newsmen after the 82nd State Executive Council, SEC, meeting in Yenagoa.

According to him, the council took the decision based on its desire to connect all the communities in the state to the national grid  in line with the massive rural electrification project it embarked on.

He said: “The government is very passionate about connecting all our communities to the national grid. We want sufficient power in all nooks and crannies of the state and this is mainly for the purpose of industrialization which the governor is seriously pursuing.”

Rivers blames DISCOs

Meanwhile, in Rivers State, residents of Ozuguruo, in Ikwerengwo Etche LGA have blamed PHED   for the purported N18 million electricity bill they incurred.

Speaking, yesterday, one of the leaders of the community, Elder Emmanuel Nwaeke, said Ozuguruo community had been without power supply for two years, due to a faulty transformer.

He said PHED was invited to check the transformer, which PHED claimed had developed faults and needed to be repaired.

He lamented that no positive attempt was made by PHED to repair the transformer, and after months of being in darkness, a good Nigerian offered the community a new transformer which the community leaders invited PHED to install.

According to him, after the transformer was installed,  PHED issued the community a bill of N18million as bill accumulated from previous outstanding debt.

Mr Nwaeke said “PHED should be blamed if the community owes such amount for electricity bill. Their officials will come and distribute electricity bill and when the bill is not paid, they will come and disconnect the light. They will return at night just to collect tips and reconnect the light, knowing that the bill has not been paid. The unpaid bill is then brought forward to the next month. A small community like this cannot owe N18million because we do not own any factory here.   There is also no meter to record the amount of light each house consumes. How then do we truly know that we owe such amount? What of the ones that have been paid?

Responding, Head of Corporate communication for   PHED, Mr. John Onyi, said the N18million bill was not for the period when the community had no light,   but accumulated bill which the community had failed to pay.

Similarly, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, gave an update of the viral ‘Monkey Pox’ disease which he said has been mitigated.

While urging residents to still be very vigilante, Etebu said the government’s dedicated health teams were still carrying out surveillance to ensure that the disease did not spread.

On his part the Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, highlighted the importance of the ‘Contriman Direct’ platform which was launched before the start of the SEC meeting.

According to him: “The platform offers Bayelsans a rare opportunity to have direct access to Governor Seriake Dickson via telephone and on different social media channels to report any incident that urgently needs the attention of government. We want to urge our people to take advantage of the lines and reach out to the governor to report events happening around them. It is a golden opportunity for Bayelsans to have direct access to the governor.”

Meanwhile, in Rivers State, residents of Ozuguruo in Ikwerengwo Etche LGA have blamed

PHED   for the purported N18million electricity bill they incurred..

Speaking  yesterday,   one of the leaders of the of the community,    Elder Emmanuel Nwaeke said Ozuguruo community had been without power supply for two years, due to faulty transformer.

Mr Nwaeke noted PHED was invited to check the transformer, which PHED claimed had developed faults and needed to be repaired.

He lamented that no positive attempt was made by PHED to repair the transformer, and after months of being in darkness, a good Samaritan offered the community a new transformer which the community leaders called  PHED to install

According to him, after the transformer was installed,  PHED issued the community a bill of N18million as bill accumulated from previous outstanding debt.

Mr Nwaeke said “PHED should be blamed if the community owes such amount for electricity bill. Their officials will come and distribute electricity bill and when the bill is not paid, they will come and disconnect the light. They will return at night just to collect tips and reconnect the light, knowing that the bill has not been paid. The unpaid bill is then brought forward to the next month. A small community like this cannot owe N18million because we do not own any factory here.   There is also no meter to record the amount of light each house consumes. How then do we truly know that we owe such amount? What of the ones that have been paid?

Responding, Head of Corporate communication for   PHED, Mr. John Onyi, said the N18million bill was not for the period when the community had no light,   but accumulated bill which the community had failed to pay.

 


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