By Andy Chukwu
Many areas within Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, are in darkness.
This followed the decision of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to disconnect two 33kV feeders belonging to Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) from the national grid.
John Oyi, PHEDC’s Corporate Communications Manager, in a statement, said the affected areas are: state secretariat, government house, UTC area, BMH, Amadi flats, Moscow road, forces avenue and the entire Port Harcourt township.
“The Transmission Company of Nigeria has disconnected two critical feeders belonging to Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company in the early hours of Friday, August 2, 2019,” Oyi said.
“The feeders are Borikiri and Secretariat 33kV lines with 8 No. outgoing 11kv feeders.
“A letter on non-compliance and financial penalty from the TCN was received by PHED on July 3, 2019, wherein the TCN alleged that PHED had breached the market rules.
“PHED also appeared before the TCN committee to make its positions known.
“Regardless of the above, PHED has already made payment of her outstanding debt to TCN, despite huge outstanding debt by electricity users, a situation that has put PHED in a financial quagmire.
“PHED’s customers in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states are owing N161.7billion as at close of business in June 2019. Based on the above, social and economic activities, including those on essential services such as the hospitals, security agencies, banks, Ministries Department and Agencies, Government House and ordinary man on the street have been paralysed.”
The DisCo said it is making efforts to bring the situation under control.
On Monday, the TCN had suspended the electricity distribution company (DisCo) due to a financial infraction and directed the transmission service provider (TSP) to disconnect the feeders.