Bayelsans protest terrible power supply in the state

Barely 24 hours after the management of  Port Harcourt   electricity Distribution Company claimed that the  reason behind the over three months power outage in Bayelsa State was due to the N320million debt owed by agencies and parastatals of the state  government,  a coalition of NGOs and CLOs has protested  againstthe company for the total darkness that Bayelsans have suffered since January 2018 and the indiscriminate billing system that have put holes in the pockets of electricity consumers.

“We can no longer pay for darkness” they chanted.

The peaceful protest involved
youths carrying placards with inscription like Bayelsans say no to darkness in Yenagoa, we say no to PHED’s intimidation of Bayelsans to pay for what they did not consume, Darkness encourages criminal activities, PHED give us light.
Others were no light no paying of
bills, we say no to black out In Bayelsa among others.
The leader of the group Chief Nengi James  in his remark said   that the protest was a warning signal to tell people out there that the situation in Bayelsa was so bad that crime and criminalities have overtaken the city.
He said “The coming of PHED to Bayelsa would have been a blessing but it is a worst situation.
“The coalition of civil society organizations are  saying that  the PHEDC  epileptic power supply and fraudulent billing system is totally unacceptable”.
They however demanded that there must be meters  in all homes in Bayelsa, stated that  they no longer need  estimated billings in the state. He maintains that  bayelsa youths should be engaged officially in the company.
The protesters called on EFFCC and  other  sister financial  crime
investigative agencies to investigate the level of corruption going on in PHEDC declaring that PHEDC should stop sending bills for light not consumed.

In his response the business manager of PHEDC Bayelsa Engineer Moses
Achi maintained that they have been doing their best to make sure that the supply spreads across the state.
Admitting that  they  have had series of challenges in recent times especially  from the beginning of the year  till date,  he said there was a challenge of transformer breakdown  for Yenagoa transmission stating that  they have two  40 MVA  transformers at the Yenagoa transmission office but they lost all of them early this year.
“We have to reduce supply per feeder but the issue is being handled from the transmission office. I can assure you that every step is being taken to ensure that transformer is put back in order”

 He said the management of PHED has approved the release and installation of prepaid meters that will commence in batches.
Disclosing some challenges confronting the company, he said “But the logistics that is required for the installation of those meters are not there yet.  There are some wooden poles that need to be replaced in some areas before meters can be installed in those areas. This is a process that will put a stop to bulk bill and light committee in thestate.”
The business manager however admitted that most of the maintenance going on in some transformers in the state he was not brought to his knowledge.

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