Authorities of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) has expressed concern over the huge debt owed it by customers in four states of its operation including the Nigerian armed forces to the tune of N91.2billion.
According to the PHED, as at November 2016, PHED is being owed N58.9B by customers in the four states, aside from a legacy debt of N32.3B making a total debt stock of N91.2B.
Out of the above sum, the Nigerian military (army, navy and air force) are owing N2,120,837,452.49,N525,709,976.76 and N180,127,282.44 respectively, making a total debt of N2,833,001,288.84.
The chief executive officer of PHED, Jay McCoskey, while speaking during a courtesy call on the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Major General Enobong Okon Udoh, by the Management of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company; said though they appreciate the partnership of the armed forces in the
protection of its facilities, the debt owed PHED by customers is a big draw back for the implementation and success of the projects.
Jay Macoskey, in a statement issued by the spokesman for PHED, John Onyi, stated that “If this money is paid to PHED, it will enable the company carry-out network expansion, maintenance and other statutoryobligations. We hereby solicit your support and assistance in the payment of the outstanding debt particularly that of the army,”
He however commended the army on the role it is playing in securing the lives and properties of Nigerians especially its immense contributions in curbing insurgency in the North-east and the relative calm that its presence has brought in the Niger Delta region.
McCoskey told the GOC that PHED had embarked on many projects to improve power supply. This has resulted in the creation of 34 commercial lines and the extension of 24/7 power supply to cluster areas of Port Harcourt. Plans are ongoing to conclude and commission similar projects in other cities within the licensed area.