Report By: CD South-East Region Publicity Arm
The Campaign for Democracy (CD), South-East Region has raised concern over the dwindling fortunes of small and medium scale businesses within South-Eastern Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement issued to newsmen by CD in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State on Monday.
The statement was signed by Dede Uzor A. Uzor, Chairman, CD South-East Region.
It would be recalled that the nationwide drop in electricity supply was caused by the non-availability of gas supply to run most of the recent gas thermal electricity plants across the country; especially Omotoso and Olorunsogo plants in the South-West.
``The fact of the matter is that the drastic drop of 1,112 electricity mage-watts supply is hitting the South-East so hard than other regions of the country”.
``The economy of the five South-Eastern states, which comprises of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States, has crumbled since April 3, when the drop of the electricity mega-watts started.
``Most cities in the South-East especially the commercial and industrial centres of Onitsha, Nnewi, Enugu, Aba, Umuahia, Abakaliki, Owerri and Orlu cannot have four hours daily supply of electricity,’’ the statement said.
The statement alleged that Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was ripping off residents of South-Eastern Nigeria through estimated bill, which is current amounting to at least N5400 monthly per household.
``South-Eastern Nigeria has an average of 500,000 flats within Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka, Abakaliki, Owerri, Orlu, Umuahia, Aba, Afikpo, Nsukka and Enugu among others”.
“PHCN makes a minimum of N2.7 billion per month from consumers in these flats, most of these monies come through estimated billing system”.
``The failure of the company to provide the pre-paid meters to its customers; is to give room for further extortion without reading the analog meters,’’ the statement further said.
``We are calling on the Federal Government and the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as a matter of urgency to resume the free supply of pre-paid meters to electricity consumers against the demand of the current payment of N25,00 per each pre-paid meters,’’ CD reiterated.
The statement also called on Federal Government to resuscitate the moribund coal fired thermal electricity plants at Oji River in Enugu State and Ijora in Lagos State respectively.
It called on EFCC and ICPC to immediate start investigation of the $16 million used for the suspicious electricity power project contracts in the country during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime.