By CHILAGOROM Ifeanyi
EEDC: THE DECAY OF SOUTH EAST ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY, ESPECIALLY IN IMO STATE
A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY (EEDC)
According to history, electric power development in Nigeria started towards the end of 19th century, when the first generating plant of 30KW was installed in the city of Lagos in 1898. From this date on till 1950, the pattern of electricity development was inform of individual electricity undertaking set up in various towns somewhere by native or municipal authorities.
In 1946, the Nigerian Government Electricity undertaking was established within the then Public Works Development (PWD) to take over the responsibility for electricity in Lagos State. From years to years, various Power Distribution establishments are history till National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was established by decree No.24 of 1972. The Authority was to develop and maintain an efficient, coordinate an an economic system of electricity supply for all parts of the Federation.
The need to reform the Electricity industry necessitated the transformation of NEPA to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in 2004. The Electricity Reform Act of 2005 unbundled PHCN into 11 Distribution companies, 1 Transmission Company and 6 Generation companies. And this Reform Act gave birth to Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and others like Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Benin, Ikeja, Ibadan, Kano, Kaduna, Yola, Port Harcourt, Jos and Eko Electricity Distribution Company.
As a researcher, I went into profile of EEDC as my regional (South East) distribution company and saw INTEGRITY as one of its Core Values. It is clearly explained by EEDC that “A person with integrity is trustworthy and dependable.” And I ask my good people: Is EEDC really trustworthy and dependable? Let me again quote EEDC from its profile: “At EEDC, not only do we realize that without the customer, we do not exist, but we are very clear in our understanding that making the customer’s life better is our reason of being “. Therefore, I ask another good question every EEDC customer, especially in Owerri: Is EEDC really making your life/business better or just frustrating and exploiting you at every moment with epileptic power supply and estimated bill as most people continue to pay for what they did not use?
Coming to Imo State and Owerri as the capital city in particular, the kind of epileptic power supply and high estimated charges by EEDC have kept lots of Imo citizens jobless due collapse of various business establishments. No manufacturing industry, business outlet or hotel in Owerri functions well with out a 24/7 running of generator set. Yet, EEDC cannot stop to disconnect people’s light. The worst is that they go with people’s wires, which is against the law. When you later settle with hem for reconnection, they still ask you to pay for wire before your light is reconnected. It is very unfortunate that due to the total decay of our system, people do not really know their right in a situation like this and how to properly defend it. No EEDC official has right to leave with your wire because it is your property and not theirs! Though you should be arrested by EEDC and prosecuted if you reconnect your light without following due process, as it is against the law too.
Let me use the lockdown period as an example. How can the government ask everyone to be at home and EEDC could not make proper efforts to serve their customers better? Yet, they do not fail to bring estimated bills for innocent customers to pay what they never used. Is this not a big SIN and man inhumanity to man? Is this not exploitation? Even a few customers with Prepaid meter have not stopped burning fuel/diesel daily through generator set. I sincerely pity those in hotel business and various business establishments within Imo State, especially Owerri Metropole.
I would not have bothered myself or wasted time to write this, had it been the fault is from Federal or President Buhari Government. But what breaks my heart more is that a Great Igbo and business oriented son, Sir Emeka Offor is the Chairman, Board of Directors, EEDC. Which means we should hold Sir Emeka Offor and his EEDC team responsible on epileptic power supply, exploitation and collapse of businesses in South East, especially Owerri. What would this have meant for Ndi Igbo when such a Great and business oriented son is in charge of our electricity supply? As a matter of fact, it would have meant well and be our stronghold for total growth and development in every Igbo man’s business within South East. But unfortunately, the reverse is the case. “We said when rain drops, we shall enjoy the pumpkin. But unfortunately, the rain has dropped and the pumpkin has been affected with sand all over to make it unhealthy for consumption.” Think deep!😎
I tried to move around Owerri City to see how businesses grow and also get people’s comment on the service of EEDC. Unfortunately, the news I have gathered so far, is unhealthy to the ears. No individual has said anything good about power supply in Owerri! Our people in hotel business waste huge amount of money to subscribe prepaid meter and still, do not stop running generator sets 24/7 to keep their businesses up to standard for customers’ satisfaction. A good friend and brother who has a hotel around Owerri North cried to me: “My brother, upon that I have paid huge amount of money to subscribe my prepaid meter, there has never been light within this area for sometime now. What else should I do to give my customers best of services than running generator set from morning to night? We use all the money we get from customers to buy fuel and diesel every day.”
What a sad news!
Comparing EEDC with others, I have done thorough research to know how other Nigerians enjoy power supply from various power distribution companies in their regions. And as a matter of fact, my heart breaks as a well meaning Igbo man when I hear how people commend Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Ikeja, Eko, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Kaduna and other distribution companies for better services. While all we get from our “Darling” EEDC are exploitation, intimidation and epileptic or no power supply.
Some areas in Imo State do not even get power supply at all and still get estimated bill/charges on what they did not use. No city develops well without steady power supply. Igbos are the most hardworking people, yet they have the most unemployed youths with no 24/7 functional manufacturing industry due to no power supply. An industry can only grow if it has the capacity to run 24/7 generator set. Upon our hard-work, cost of living is more expensive in South East region. Who says things will not turn around if there is steady power supply? Which way forward my fellow South Easterners? Does EEDC really mean well for total growth and development of Igbo businesses or it has come to kill and eat?
We keep on advising our sons and daughters to bring their businesses and industries home for the development of Igbo nation. But EEDC is not doing well to help the matter at all. Therefore, let EEDC do well to improve for our people to live comfortably and run their businesses like those in other regions of Nigeria.
We Need Change From EEDC
Help The Igbo Nation Grow And Develop
Say No To Exploitation In Igbo Land
Travel and Tours Consultant, Rights Activist, Influencer and Writer.