N13 million electric bill: How Ekere abandoned kinsmen to suffer in darkness

* Ekere
___________________________

… As Udom purchases 30MVA transformer for Ikot Abasi

By Idorenyin Ikpe

The adage which says that, “charity begins at home”, has never been a life style of Mr Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), despite his limitless opportunities to assist communities through the commission.

Ekere, a native of Ikot Oboroeyen in Edemaya clan in Ikot Abasi local government area of Akwa Ibom State, it was gathered, has neglected his Kinsmen despite entreaties from different quarters of the local government for him to assist offset about N13 million electricity bill owed the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) by people of the area which warranted the area to be disconnected from the national grid for many months now.

Our reporter gathered that the beclouded darkness in the area informed Governor Udom Emmanuel’s recent intervention to defray the debt as well as purchased a 30MVA transformer to boost both quantity and quality of power supply to the area.

Speaking with reporters at the weekend, the Managing Director of Ibom Power Company limited, Meyen Etukudoh, who commented on the project, disclosed that Ikot Abasi had previously been energized at the instance of Ibom Power through the PHEDC, the distribution company (DISCO) serving the region.

Etukudoh said the community was disconnected from public power supply due to dispute between the community and PHEDC regarding outstanding electricity bills.

Explaining further, the Governor’s aide said, “Governor Udom Emmanuel first intervened by offsetting N13million from the outstanding electricity bills owed by the community to PHEDC.

“After the Governor’s intervention, PHEDC restored power supply to the community but the community refused and instead clamoured for power supply from Ibom power plant, stationed in the community.

“In response to the request of the community, Governor Emmanuel gave approval that Ibom power plant should supply power to Ikot Abasi. The Governor thereafter secured the release of the 30MVA transformer from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

“The arrival of this transformer in Ikot Abasi community means quality and steady power supply will be available in Ikot Abasi before the end of the year”, the MD explained.

He concluded that the 30MVA transformer which has a capacity of 24mw will cater for the electricity load demand of Ikot Abasi estimated at 6 to 10mw and will also accommodate suppressed loads from other parts of the community.

Meanwhile, reacting to Governor Emmanuel’s gesture, one of the youths residents in Ikpetim community, Mr. Emmanuel Ebo, said everybody is happy as hope of people going back to different businesses has rekindled.

He said Mr Ekere neglected them when they needed him most, adding that the people of Ikot Abasi local government were not surprised at his attitude as he is known for not helping people.

This reporter sought to hear from the NDDC boss concerning the matter, but calls put through to his know mobile telephone line were not received as of the time of filing this report.