Exorbitant Electricity Billings: Akwa Ibom Reps Summons PHEDC

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In a bid to stop the issue of undue and heavy electricity billings by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, summoned the company for explanations over their operations in the state.
Moving the motion titled, “Exorbitant Electricity Billing in Akwa Ibom State”, during plenary, the member representing Onna State Constituency, Hon. Nse Essien, decried that “PHEDC insists on charging the people of Akwa Ibom State unreasonable, exploitative and fraudulent bills, in some cases, often as high as N 30,000 and up to N 80,000 for power either not supplied or delivered in epileptic fits and spasms.”
He further declared that PHEDC having “failed to take advantage of the supply of electricity at reasonable cost by the Ibom power plant and ensuring the power is effectively distributed”, has thus refused to operate in line with global best practices.
The Lawmaker prayed the House to invite the Managing Director of the company to explain the company’s actions.
Hon. Essien also called on Governor Udom Emmanuel to take measures to protect its investment in the Ibom Power Plant and ensure that the people of the state derive adequate benefit from it.
The motion was seconded by Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian of Oruk Anam State Constituency, who lamented that despite the fact that PHEDC is using facilities owned by government, they have refused to serve the state creditably.
While acknowledging the hydra-headed nature of the case, he posited that encouraging the use of prepaid meter to determine the cost of power consumed, is not the solution because the meters can be manipulated to favour electricity distributors.
He supported the idea of summoning the company to the Assembly to answer questions on the issue.
Also lending his voice to the issue, Hon. Mark Esset of Nsit Atai State Constituency, likened the issue to slavery and applauded Hon. Nse Essien for bringing up the matter for deliberation.
Rt. Hon. lme Okon of Ibiono Ibom State Constituency, Nse Ntuen of Essien Udim and Emmanuel Bassey of Ini, also lauded the motion.
On his part, the Speaker, Rt Hon Anlekan Uko stated that he has been receiving complaints from his constituents on the issue, adding that he is also a victim.
After exhaustive deliberation, a resolution was passed summoning the company even as the Clerk of the House, Mrs Nnamso Umoren, was directed to serve the company a letter to that effect, demanding the appearance of the Managing Director of the company (PHEDC) to appear on the floor of the House during next plenary on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

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