Rivers Community Owes Us N5.8 Billion – DisCo

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The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) has decried debts owed by its consumers saying the Oyigbo community, whose youths recently shut down the Afam Power Plant, has accumulated unpaid bills of N5.8bn since 2013.

Speaking in Port Harcourt, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, PHED, Henry Ajagbawa, said the community had an erroneous belief that they were entitled to free electricity.

Ajagbawa, who was represented by the General Manager, Services, Ochuko Amah, said the community rebuffed many persuasive engagements with the community to pay their debts.

He said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Management of Afam Power plant interfaced with the community to ensure the restoration of electricity in parts of Rivers state.

He, however, lamented the continual shutting down of electricity facilities in the state.

He said: “We have engaged the Oyigbo community for about 10 times over the issues of non payment of electricity bills but to no avail.

“As at today Oyigbo community owe us N5, 827, 971, 896. The question is, if they owe us such a huge amount why do we have them still challenging us by shutting down our system?

“The answer is not far-fetched. They have an erroneous believe that they are entitled to free electricity, but we are a private company. There is no way we can buy electricity from the national grid and sell it for free. It is not done anywhere.”

He explained that part of the community populated by indigenes were owing over N4bn since 2013, while those connected to Ndoki 1 transmission line, were owing over N1bn since 2015.

“Parts of Oyigbo on Ndoki 2, mostly indigenes owe N4, 037,125,477, since 2013. While those on Ndoki 1 are owing N1,790,846,420, since 2015, a total of N5,827,971,897,” he said.

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