Thursday, 28 December 2017

Power failure: Right groups move to revoke EEDC licence

Gloria Anaeze Onitsha

A coalition of human rights groups in the southeast, under the aegis of South East Based Coalition of Human Rights and Good Governance Organisations, SBCHROs have called for the outright revocation of the licence of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company(EEDC).

The  coalition which consists of 13 rights groups in a follow up letter to the minister of power, works and housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola cited poor performance as its reason for the call.

The letter to the minister read, "We are strongly calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria and its Ministry of Power, manned
by Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN to revoke the operating license
granted to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) for
failing woefully to improve and revolutionalize power distribution in
Southeast Nigeria."

The coalition said the call became necessary following "mindboggling atrocious conducts of the Company; especially its field personnel; fully condoned by the Company in its 18 Business Districts of the Southeast Zone."

It said the conducts of the company's staff has shackled and manacled the People of Southeast Nigeria and forced them into chronic bondage; and industrial and developmental retardation or backwardness.

The coalition said the call became pertinent, following  rampant cases of illegal disconnections, crazy billing systems and operating with thugs among others around Ogbaru business district and the entire southeast.

"We are also strongly calling for immediate investigation and dismissal of present Ogbaru, Onitsha and Ogidi  Network Managers of the EEDC and
their subordinate senior managers for marketing, billing, operations,
network expansion or distribution.

"Owing to reckless issuance of outrageous estimated bills by EEDC
especially to single phase residential consumers; billions, if not tens of billions of worth of “accumulated bills” abound in the
Southeast. In many, if not most single phase residences and their
residents, EEDC’s monthly estimated bills have become much higher than monthly house rents.

"The rest of EEDC monumental failures; requiring thorough investigation and appropriate sanctions are: failure to effect adequate provision and installation of distribution transformers, specifically for consumers who are in need and generally for the purpose of ensuring distribution expansion and efficiency.

Others are, non-provision of power distribution network accessories including transformer accessories and feeder lines’ spares, failure to ensure round-the-clock maintenance of distribution transformers and distribution feeder lines, and  failure to disallow consumers bear the brunt or cost of procuring, installing and maintaining distribution transformers."

The groups include; Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast Zone,
International Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative (ISPHRI),
Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD-Nigeria), among others.



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