The Managing director of the Ibom Power Plant, Engr. Meyen Etukudo, has expressed his frustration over the high level of corruption corruption prevalent in the operations of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC.
He has also lamented the dismal performance of DISCOS in Nigeria, warning that over reliance on them would take the country to stone age in electricity distribution.
Etukudo who spoke with newsmen in Uyo yesterday said the time has come for state governments or private individuals to take over the business of running the distribution companies, saying the present arrangement would not bring solutions to the myriads of problems in the sector.
The MD, who is also the Senior Assistant to Akwa Ibom State Governor on power, said elecyricitu consumers have become tired with the excuses given by PHEDC, over poor electricity distribution in the state.
“Now we want to carry out the first major inspection of Ibom Power Plant, and we shall be shutting down the plant for about 40 days. During this period, we will be importing power.
“But the issue is not about importing power, the issue is will PHEDC take the power and give to the people?. They cannot take energy and put in more of the lines and what is the reason for this, they will tell you the people don’t pay. If you don’t want the business why do you go there
“Most of the people in PHEDC are not supposed to be there,.70-80% of PHEDC staff are ex-bankers, who pay attention to bill collection rather than doing the technical aspects of the job.
“They brought in some old retired NEPA staffs and they don’t even listen to them. Corruption has taken over PHEDC because they will tell you in Akwa Ibom State they have 40 vehicles or hiluxes to clear a fault or do business but not up to ten of them and these ten will be owned by their cousins or wives. Do things work in this country, if things are to work there will be no distribution company in Nigeria.
“The time has come for the state governments, the press, the preachers and pastors to move to give the state or better individuals the business to run the distribution company of the country. If we continue with these discos, we are going back to stone age” he said.
Etukudo said that Governor Udom Emmanuel, in his determination to provide 24 hours electricity supply to communities in the state, has purchased and distributed 442 transformers to communities in the state, adding that any community complaining of light is because PHEDC has yet to provide energy to those lines.
The corporate Affairs Manager of PHEDC, Mr. John Ogar, when contacted to react to the issues said he has no comment for now, promising to respond to the issues at later date.
“I have no comment for now, but I promise to respond to the issues raised at a later time, thanks you” Ogar said