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The Campaign for Democracy (CD), South-East Region has raised alarm over the dwindling fortunes of small and medium scale businesses within the South-East.
This was contained in a statement issued to newsmen by CD in Abakaliki, EbonyiState on Monday.
The statement was signed by Dede Uzor A. Uzor, Chairman, CD South-East Region.
It would be recalled that the nationwide sharp 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-East states, which comprises of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and ImoStates, has crumbled since April 3, when the sharp 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,’’ it said.
The statement alleged that Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was ripping off the resident of the South-East through estimated bill, which is current amounting to at least N5400 monthly per household.
“While the South-East has an average of 500,000 flats scattered within Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka, Abakaliki, Owerri, Orlu, Umuahia, Aba, Afikpo, Nsukka and Enugu among others.
“And PHCN makes a minimum of N2.7 billion per month from consumers in these flats in the region, and most of these monies comes through crazy estimated billing system.
“However, 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,’’ it said.
The statement also called for total overhauling of PHCN Onitsha and Ogbaru Business Units since they are encouraging the continue regime of the crazy bill system.
“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,’’ it said.
The statement called on Federal Government to resuscitate the moribund coal fired thermal electricity plants at OjiRiver in EnuguState and Ijora Olopa in LagosState 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.