BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Power surges back from Port Harcourt Disco to Govt House Calabar after top meeting

...As Cross river govt begins N10m per month to reduce electricity debts

Power met power in Calabar in a dialogue and power returned to the Government House, Calabar. This seems to be a demonstration of how problems can be solved if the right people speak the right language in the right situations.

Cross River government and its agencies (MDAs) had been owing the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution company (PHED) for some time. These debts may have been part of the debt crisis PHED and some other Discos faced for years until the FG showed red eyes and heads rolled.

Now, the new CEO in PHED, Benson Uwheru (PhD) led a delegation to Gov Ben Ayade of Cross River State in Government House in Calabar. After the talks, power was restored, but not before N10m parted hands and a document for N10m monthly to PHED were secured.

The process was simple. The new CEO of PHED had upon his assumption of office, paid a courtesy visit to the Gov Ayade to, amongst other reasons, strengthen the partnership that co-existed between both organisations.

Uwheru applauded the governor’s magnanimity for receiving him despite the concerns of power supply to Govt House and Cross Rivers State MDAs and across the State. He introduced the new leadership of PHED that stemmed from the FG-led restructuring of the Discos as well as his plans to expand the network through the Calabar metering programme in the Calabar Power For All project.

He further explained the circumstances that led to the disconnection of the Govt House from the PHED Supply which he said was due to a breach in communication between PHED and the State Government. He pledged his commitment to restoring power to the Governor’s Office.

Sharing with the governor other strategies that had been employed to secure qualitative and reliable power supply in the State, Uwheru also called his attention to the challenges plaguing the plans owing to poor bill payment. He suggested measures that could be employed to ensure seamless clearance of the indebtedness accumulated by MDAs in the state, monthly.

This seemed to impress Gov Ayade, a professor, who commended the PHED boss for the approach as well as his decision to restore supply to the Govt House. He acknowledged the improved supply experienced in other parts of the State and applauded the MD/CEO once again for the feat.

Read also: How DisCos incurred N485bn energy debt in 16 months

The governor stressed on the need to sustain it and said the CEO’s visit was a marker to a mutually rewarding relationship between the State Govt and the Disco. He pledged his commitment to consistent payment of bills going forward.

The Governor made good his pledge by clearing the bills accumulated by the Govt House while pledging to issue a N10m monthly deduction instrument to PHED as payment for the MDA electricity bills.

This seemed to draw huge admiration from the PHED boss (Uwheru) who commended Ayade for the prompt response. He noted that the governor’s action was evidence of his decision to partner with the Disco as he looks forward to increased business relationship between both parties.

“This singular action by your Excellency Sir, has proved beyond doubt your willingness to support us and be rest assured that I will in turn show gratitude by ensuring power is restored to the Governor’s office within 24hrs.” Uwheru said.

The MD/CEO had with him for the visit, the PHED Regional Head, Calabar, Collins Igwe, Network Manager, Calabar Region, Gabriel Modukpe, Head Customer Services, Angella Ajere, MDA Product Manager Calabar Region, Archibong Etim, and the Executive Assistant Special Duties (EA-MD/CEO), Koyoyo Uhrorho.

Without wasting time, electricity supply was restored to the Government House after the meeting, a pointer to the impactful leadership of the Uwheru’s administration.

This seems to underline the approach of the new CEO in PHED to unlock huge sums owed the Disco in the coming months, and to back this up with the surging power supply in the zone which seems to make customers happy to pay, as noted by Gov Ayade.

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