By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT: The management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has lamented debt of over N166 billion owed the company by customers in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River State, adding that the debt must be recovered.
This is just as the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt, has disclosed readiness to collaborate with PHED to ensure prepaid metres and efficient power supply to barracks in the states.
The Chief Executive Officer of PHED, Dr. Henry Ajagbawa, disclosed this in Port Harcourt when he played host to the General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Nigerian Army Port Harcourt, Major-General Felix Agugo.
Ajagbawa stated that the company had to embark on mass disconnection of defaulting customers in the states’ electricity because of the worrisome debt of N166billion, noting that operation was initiated by the management in order to save the company from imminent collapse.
He said: “The major issue is non-payment of bills by customers. We are been owed over N166billion in the four states of our operations. The exercise, in fairness, will continue until every Kobo is recovered for energy consumed.
“Every defaulting customer in our franchise area will be visited and disconnected by the dedicated taskforce teams on constant patrol.
“We are going to light up Port Harcourt and every state in our catchment area within our constraint. That is why we are embarking on this mass disconnection so that those who are paying their bills can have improved power supply.”
Meanwhile, the GOC, 6 Division Nigerian Army, Major-General Felix Agugo, assured of the Army’s readiness to sort out debts owed PHED by the barracks, regretting that it was disturbing that electricity is not consistent in the barracks.
Agugo said: “It is disheartening to see my men complain of no power supply in the barracks, after spending weeks and days combing the creeks and other difficult terrains to keep our nation safe.
“The COAS wants every barracks to be metered, if possible. So let us see how we can begin the metering of our barracks as well as improve supply to our barracks.
“We are willing to pay. If there are anything we can do to improve your (PHED) services, we are ready to assist you, because we also involved in community services.”