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New PHCN Tarif: What The People Say

Consequent upon the introduction of the new price regime or new tariff as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria workers termed it, members of the public in Port Harcourt are crying foul, screaming blue murder, insisting that the tariff is outrageous and absurd.
How can one pay this new bill? One of them queried.
The reason for the outcry they say, is because PHCN remains as unpredictable and uncertain as it has ever been, pointing out that money or rather increment in tariff has never been at the base of the problem with PHCN or the supply of power to Nigerians, but rather, corruption. They noted that reckless resort to the purchase of obsolete equipment like transformers, selling of newly supplied equipment and the outright purchase of substandard electrical parts are some of the problems militating against the functionality of the organization. The people emphatically stated that a dysfunctional organization like PHCN has no business increasing tariff as ordinarily the power they claimed to be supplying has not been seen. So why the payment for something not used? They questioned.
A tenant, Mr. Tom, living in Ogbunabali area of Port Harcourt, complained that since the introduction of the new price regime his bill has jumped from N1,500 to N3,000. To Mr. Tom this is absolutely outrageous. When asked to comment however on the performance of PHCN of late he said… “Really, NEPA (PHCN) has improved slightly. We do have light a lot more than before but they are not yet where we want them”.
Another businessman, Kenechukwu who is into production said … “My brother, PHCN wants to kill somebody. How can they suddenly raise my bill from N5,000 per month before to N20,000 now. I am not happy because even the light they supply cannot carry my machine so they need to do something about it. It is like I have light and yet I do not have light. PHCN gives me light, charges me outrageous bills which I pay and yet I depend on my generator which I must fuel under the subsidy-removed price regime”.
Our reporter sought the attention of a senior staff of PHCN Mr. Bede Opara who explained first of all that the essence of the tariffs is to make sure that consumers get real value for their money. As he puts it, “the old price/tariff was more of a subsistent pricing. No one gained. So, as light is being improved upon, while the consumer pays a little more for the quality of service given, then those with their moneys to invest will also reap bountifully from their investment. It is a two way thing the consumer gets value for money he pays while the investor-cum-service provider gets enough for his financial commitment.”
Mr. Bede assured that with time both the regularity in power supply and the quality of service would gladden the hearts of consumers and the animosity between consumers and PHCN staff would definitely be a thing of the past. ###

Paschal Agbadah

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