|Jay McCoskey, CEO, PHED|
Worried by the spate of transformer vandalism in the system, the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has taken a position on how to deal with the issue arising from such loss.
Speaking to the newsmen in Port Harcourt during a product launch of the company, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Jay McCoskey decried the activities of the vandals who have thrown the company’s customers into unnecessary darkness across its areas of coverage.
McCoskey noted with dismay how the company has between June and October 2016, lost a total number of 92 transformers through armoured cable removal, draining of oil, among others, a situation he described as very pathetic.
The highest on the list, he said, was Promised City Main, Uyo with 40 cases, while Garden City Main, Borikiri and Paradise City Main, Calabar had 38 and 14 issues, respectively.
“Worrisome is that when such transformers are vandalized, customers always come to the office to seek for immediate replacement”, he said.
The PHED boss wondered how a business entity would survive under such circumstance.
He urged them to step up vigilance in their communities over PHED installations, adding that the vandals are in the habit of invading the facilities at unholy hours.
To this end, the management has decided that before any transformer would be replaced, the indebted customers of the affected transformer would have settled all their outstanding bills or would have made a minimum payment of 70 percent with a payment plan for the balance.
“With the payment of the outstanding bills, the company would deploy new transformer for replacement”, McCoskey assured.
However, he advised the affected neighborhoods not to engage in self-help by contributing money for the purposes of buying a new transformer.
“What customers are expected to do is just to pay for their bills through the various payment channels recognized by the company” he posited.
Also, in some areas where transformers failed due to over loading and illegal re-connections, the same policy would be applied to them.
Meanwhile, in an effort to reinforce the stand of the company, a team has been set up to interface with the affected customers.
The teams are saddled with the responsibility of reconciling customers’ accounts at their communities or venues of incidents and resolve any other issue from the affected transformer.
PHED is committed to service delivery through payment of electricity bills.