AECN Decries over One-year Electricity Debt Manufacturing Companies Owe Aba Power

AECN Decries over One-year Electricity Debt Manufacturing Companies Owe Aba Power

•Seeks action against theft of electricity equipment

Dike Onwuamaeze

The South-eastern zone of the Association of Electricity Consumers of Nigeria (AECN) has decried the debt burden on Aba Power Limited that arose from the refusal of big manufacturing firms to pay for the power they utilise.

The AECN also criticised the level of energy theft in the Aba Ring-fenced Area in Abia State. 

This was disclosed by the Chairman of South-east AECN, Mr. Joe Ubani, who described tampering of electricity facilities as a key security threat and deplored the, “practice where some manufacturing companies owe Aba Power for over one year, with some firms conniving with corrupt technical staff members to bypass their meters.”

He added: “There are some companies that pay N8 million a month to compromised Aba Power staff rather than pay the company for the power they utilise, according to the AECN.

“The result is the new load shedding in the ring-fenced area, causing problems for everyone.

“The Niger Delta Power Company which currently supplies electricity to Aba Power because the 141-megawatt Geometric Power plant in the Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba is not yet 100 per cent ready, provides power to the Aba Ring-fenced Area based on what the residents and businesses pay.

“Power supply has reduced in the last few weeks because many persons and firms have not been paying.

“They behave as if the federal Government still owns, operates and subsidizes the power firms whereas the firms are now privately owned and they pay for everything to the last kobo.”

The AECN therefore encouraged Abia people to pay Aba Power, which it described as a utility genuinely out to make a fundamental difference in Abia State in particular and Nigeria as a whole.

The AECN also criticised the level of energy theft going on in the Aba Ring-fenced Area in Abia State as well as the high number of deaths caused by roadside electricians and other persons hired by communities, companies and individuals, “to do all kinds of things on distribution transformers, low and high-tension wires, among other electricity infrastructure.”

The trend, according to him, in nine of the 17 local government areas in Abia State serviced by Aba Power was very worrisome. 

The latest of the alleged casualty, according to Uban, “is one Mr. Alison Obiajunwu, a young electrician who was electrocuted a few days ago in Obingwa Local Government Area while illegally working on a distribution substation in an attempt to change a wire.”

“The more painful aspect of his death is that his young wife had yet to be buried by the time he went on the illegal duty,”

Ubani advised individuals, communities and organisations that have electricity issues in the Aba Ring-fenced Area to approach Aba Power Ltd for a solution.

He warned that private persons and groups were not allowed to tamper with public electric infrastructure anywhere in the country because it was extremely risky to do so.

He advised any member of the general public that has issues to report same to the Aba Power, which has a large number of experienced and competent technical staff members trained to attend to public needs urgently.

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