The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution, PHEDC, has warned that the replacement and repair of faulty electrical equipment, remain the sole responsibility of the company and not the customers.
To this end, the company has advised customers in customers in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, and Rivers states not to contribute money for transformer or any other electrical equipment in whatever guise.
Speaking, PHEDC Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. John Onyi, explained that the distribution network remains the sole responsibility of the distribution company.
Onyi said the advice was imperative following the increasing cases of reported extortion from customers, being perpetrated by self-acclaimed chairmen of neighborhood electricity committee and other unidentified collaborators.
He further disclosed that the company from inception, as part of its service level agreement, has made its policy known to the public on faulty equipment replacement and repair.
“For the purpose of emphasis, the policy clearly states that it is the prerogative of the service provider to take full responsibility for repair and replacement of such equipment which is in consonance with the provisions of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
“To demonstrate our commitment towards the policy, the company is in agreement with competent contactors that specialize in transformer repairs and other related electrical repairs in its franchise area being Port Harcourt, Calabar, Uyo and Yenagoa
“Also, over 355 new hires were recently absorbed into the system where each staff would be accountable for transformers in clusters, manage customer’s account as well as the timely escalation of repairs and replacement advice.
“Wholesomely, despite all our concerted effort to curb illegal extortion, payments for energy consumed that would have been made in favor of the service provider to accelerate the process of replacement and repair, is diverted by fraudsters enrich their pockets at the expense of loyal customers.
“Customers are by this medium, therefore, advised to report any suspected fault on their service transformer or network to the nearest PHED office or call 070022557433 for immediate attention.
“Lastly, any individual seeking to extort customers under the guise of contribution for repair and replacement of electrical equipment should be immediately reported to the Managing Director on his anti-corruption hotline, 081144646572.”