…State government moves to salvage situation
By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA- BAYELSANS who had waited for relief from the lingering power outage in Yenagoa, the state capital and environs, have expressed disenchantment at the persistent blackout, which has crippled their businesses.
Residents in some parts of the city had electricity supply last on Christmas and New Year day and are perplexed at the decision of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, to stay moot on the sustained blackout
The high cost of premium motor spirit, PMS, in the predominantly riverine state where the filling stations dispenses a liter of fuel at N200, except the NNPC mega station that sells at N143 per liter, has further compounded the woes of residents.
PHEDC issues bills for unsupplied electricity – Inhabitants
A resident of Biogbolo, Ebiowei Jones asserted: “It has been a trying period for us since after the yuletide celebration. We have not had power supply in the last five weeks, yet bills are being distributed by PHED for electricity not supplied.”
A welder, simply identified as Adi, said: “The power situation is affecting our business. We have been relying on generator and you can imagine the cost of buying fuel. If only we can return to those days when our state generates its power independently through its Imiringi Gas Turbine and transmit same free to her citizens,”
ABBEC bemoans darkness
Few days ago, the Association of Bulk Bill Electricity Consumers , ABBEC, Yenagoa, expressed concern over the sad turn of event in the state, calling for government intervention to save members’ businesses from incurring further losses due to lack of power supply.
The group, in a statement, lamented: “Few months after 50 per cent tariff increase by the PHEDC, power supply has dwindled to an all-time low. Yet, at the end of the month, you expect the people to pay for electricity which they did not consume, how can that be possible?”
ABBEC chair, Mr. Ebi Ozegbe, stated that members were losing the confidence to face residents of the state to demand for electricity bills when the people were wallowing in darkness.
Commissioner assures residents
Though the lingering power outage blamed on the activities of vandals in neighbouring Rivers State had been restored in some parts of the state, most parts of the capital are still in darkness.
Commissioner for Power, Chief Partner Jim-Ogbolo, has, however, assured residents of better days, following ongoing government efforts to light up the state.
Chief Jim-Ogbolo said the state government is carrying out 48 projects out of which 23 have been completed and 25 ongoing with a view to improving the power situation in the predominantly riverine state.
He said the government had constructed a new 33 KVA sub- transmission line from Ogbia to Nembe, Ikibiri-Angiama 33 KVA and upgrading of electricity supply in Akipelai community.