Electricity consumers in Akwa Ibom State have bemoaned irregular power supply amid the planned increase in tariff by distribution companies.
This is coming against the ongoing disconnection of alleged debtors by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company in Uyo and its environs.
The electricity distribution company had earlier approached the office with claims of a bypass on the power line with a prepaid meter which was acquired by the chapel and installed by the PHED.
As law-abiding citizens, members of the chapel who were on hand at the time of the visit promised to visit the Uyo area office of the company with documents indicating the chapel’s transactions with the company.
After reckless disconnections within the area, men of the PHED returned later that evening when fewer members of the chapel were left still working and disconnected the office from their public power source, leaving the cables hanging.
At about 6.30pm, when the chapel office had already been locked and a few members still refreshing at a nearby joint, the men returned and vandalised the cables they had earlier disconnected.
According to some consumers who spoke in Uyo, the inability of PHED to provide electricity consumers with the prepaid metering system has not helped matters.
The residents decried blackout and outrageous bills given to them in the last three months even as there is a planned increase in tariff.
Among these are residents of Asutan Street off Barracks Road who expressed displeasure over exorbitant bills by the company without commensurate power supply to their residences.
According to residents of Akpan Ukpo Street, Ebet Aya, and Deeper Life Avenue Federal Housing Estate, Obong Street in Uyo, they lamented that electricity has been unstable for months as the distribution company continues to bill consumers outrageously.
“As you can see, we have no power supply and the situation has been like this in the last three weeks.
“The unfortunate incident is that PHED has distributed its estimated bills without considering the fact that there is no electricity supply.
“The last time they supplied us electricity, it came with high voltage,” Etim said.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has recently lamented that the state government was not reaping from the huge investment it has made in the power sector, thus advocating for a license to allow the state distribute power generated from the state-owned power plant, the Ibom Power Plant located at Ikot Abasi local government of the state.
The governor during a phone in interaction programme stated that Ibom Power Plant current output has increased to 119 megawatts, and faulted PHED, licensed to distribute power in four states of Port Harcourt, Cross River, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom for not being alive to the expectations in power distribution as captured in the PPPI charter between PHED and the federal government.
John Onyi, the corporate affairs manager of the company could not be reached for his comments.