Residents of Woji in Port Harcourt metropolis of Rivers State have lamented that they have spent over N1billion in running generators, due to the failure of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, to provide power supply to the area in the last two months.
The power outage in the area, SweetCrude Reports gathered affects Federal Housing Estate, Nvuigwe, Alcon, Gbalajam and YKC area of Woji, all in Obio/Akpor Local Government of the State.
Speaking to our correspondent, a Youth Leader in the area, Mr. Elvis Chisa, explained that the area which is dominated by small-scale businesses and residential homes has spent such funds in buying premium motor spirit and automated gas oil to run their generators.
Akpana lamented that many shops have shut down in the area due to the power outage as owners cannot afford running generators day and night to continue to stay in business.
“Since September till now we have not had power supply. I can’t even remember the last time we perceived power supply. We have spent more than N1billion in the last two months to fuel our generators to keep our businesses alive.
“We don’t know what is the problem, last month we heard some youths in Federal Housing Estate went on a protest at their (PHEDC) office, but they were told power will be restored soon, but up till now we have not seen anything,” the youth leader said.
When contacted, the Management of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, explained that the power outage experienced in the area was as a result of equipment failure of its 33KV feeder supplying power to the area.
The Spokesperson of the Port Harcourt Disco, Mr. John Onyi, said the dualization of the Trans-Woji road by Reynolds Construction Company, RCC, has inhibited its technical crew from gaining entrance to replace the faulty transformer.
Onyi speaking to SweetCrude Reports in Port Harcourt, explained that the disco was making frantic efforts to resolve the problem, saying that the situation was giving the company a bad image.
“We have equipment failure at Woji 33KV feeder which has resulted into the darkness in the area.
“Don’t also forget that the road construction in the area is also affecting us because to carry the transformer away will require access from the construction company and I can tell you that we have discussed with them and they have agreed to create access way for us.
“So any moment from now our crew will move to the site to ensure that the faulty transformer is evacuated and a new one installed although it will take some time.”
Onyi who commended the residents of the area for their patience with the company, further explained that evacuating and replacing a power transformer was a technical job which he cannot give a specific date power supply would be restored in the area.
“We thank the residents of that area for being patient for over a month we have had this kind of problem. We want to let them know that it is not in our character nor intentional to deny them power supply but equipment failure and we are doing everything possible to ensure that power supply to the area is restored soonest.
“The situation now is that our technical crew has been mobilized to the place and access road has partially been created to enable our men to move in there.
“We are removing the old transformer that failed which will require a crane moving into the station to evacuate the transformer,” Onyi said.