By Chimezie Anaso
Awka – The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has blamed the power outage in Awka, capital of Anambra and its environs on the breaker fault at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) substation in Awka.
Mr Chukwuemeka Ezeh, Head of EEDC Communication department disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Sunday.
Ezeh said the cut in power supply which had lasted about five weeks was not primarily the fault of EEDC but that of TCN.
He said that it was not as a result of decaying power distribution infrastructure under the EEDC area of operation as alleged.
“The power outage experienced at Awka is as a result of a breaker fault at the TCN Station, Awka.
“This affected supply to our Agu Awka Injection Substation, which feeds Awka and other neighbouring towns.
“It is important to stress that this is not EEDC fault, but that of TCN, however, effort is on by TCN to address the issue.
“As part of our maintenance policy, we carry out periodic maintenance of equipment and installations across our network,” he said.
Ezeh also said that the EEDC had spent over N10 billion to give prepaid meters to its customers.
According to him, EEDC inherited no fewer than 700, 000 customers that needed pre-paid meters.
He said that it was not true that the EEDC was reluctant to issue meters to its customers so as to continue to bill by estimation but was pursuing metering in its corporate interest.
“It is part of our responsibilities to meter our customers and this we are already doing; metering is a process and gradually everyone will be given.
“It pays our organisation to meter our customers, but we need both time and fund to accomplish this task.
“The management of EEDC has expressed its commitment to metering by expending over N10 billion on this project, and we are deploying smart meters.
“It is important to note that with over 700,000 inherited unmetered customers, there is no way all will be metered at once; but there is a conscious move by the management of EEDC to meter its customers, we are appealing to customers to exercise patience as meter will get to everyone.
“Customers who have been metered should desist from bypassing these meters when they are installed at their premises,” he said.
Meanwhile, some of electricity consumers had decried the quality of services of EEDC, saying it was dismal and retarding businesses and quality of life.
Mr Jude Nwanna said the EEDC should endeavor to give all its customers prepaid meters s and stop making them pay for darkness through estimated billing method.
Nwanna said his landlord paid for prepaid meters for his block of flats about three years ago but had not received them .
He said that businesses in the area were virtually running on generators and were paying for diesel and Disco for electricity, adding that some had closed shop because of the cost of operation.
Chief Bright Nwangwu, chairman of Sabrud Consortium, said that there was a company that produces prepaid meter in Nigeria which has the capacity to help achieve full metering to customers in the shortest possible time.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to allow prepaid meter manufacturing firms to sell directly to local customers.
“Estimated billing is a crime in advanced countries, it should be discouraged here; selling prepaid meters directly to customers will eliminate the practice.
“We also call on the Federal Government to enforce the local content policy in the sector which says that all government and private companies spend 80 per cent of their procured goods and services on indigenously manufactured meters” he said