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PHCN – Going Nowhere Slowly

August 17, 2011

Please Help Clobber Nigerians could have been the best heading on this piece - PHCN as the electricity power company is known. PHCN is no different from NEPA. If permanent darkness which is now a common place in Nigeria is hell, then Nigerians need not to worry about hell
because we are already in one. NERC, the Nigeria electricity regulatory commission headed by one Dr. Sam Amadi has morphed into a sleeping and comatose body and may not survive from this terminal decline. We are yet to see the impact of Prof. Nnaji who was elevated from Presidential Special Adviser on Power to Power Minister. He may have fine ideas but ideas may be hard to bring into fruition. The last time I checked, I was yet to hear what is happening to the Independent Power Company he established in Aba.

Please Help Clobber Nigerians could have been the best heading on this piece - PHCN as the electricity power company is known. PHCN is no different from NEPA. If permanent darkness which is now a common place in Nigeria is hell, then Nigerians need not to worry about hell
because we are already in one. NERC, the Nigeria electricity regulatory commission headed by one Dr. Sam Amadi has morphed into a sleeping and comatose body and may not survive from this terminal decline. We are yet to see the impact of Prof. Nnaji who was elevated from Presidential Special Adviser on Power to Power Minister. He may have fine ideas but ideas may be hard to bring into fruition. The last time I checked, I was yet to hear what is happening to the Independent Power Company he established in Aba.

Till now all we hear from him is that PHCN can generate 15,000 megawatts of electricity in the next three years. This sharply differs from the 6000 megawatts PHCN was mouthing all over the place during the last regime that had Dec. 2000 as target. We have not seen the delivery of 6000 megawatts let alone 15,000 megawatts. My demand from Prof. Nnaji and co. is that he should settle down to work and stop telling us how many megawatts that we can generate. The least Nigerians would like to see now is mere rhetoric.

President Goodluck Jonathan this week again assured Nigerians that his administration is working hard to ensure that the citizens enjoy uninterrupted power supply before the end of his tenure in 2015 but fell short of explaining what happened to similar promises in the past, why he think that we will believe now and how intends to achieve this.

PHCN is a monolith that obeys its own rules only – that is to explore its predatory strategies and maximise grips. All they do in PHCN is to issue outrageous tariffs based on visual assessment of the consumers.

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A Lagosian travelled to the East only to come back to see his power supply cut. In annoyance he bought a generator and for the next three months, PHCN was inundating him with electricity bills. PHCN has progressed in one direction – that is lining some private pockets of some people charged to run this monolith.

The tariffs used to be N8.50 per kilo watt per hour but now there are talks that it will be raised to N10 per kilo watt per hour. Is this raise directly benched on improved power supply or we are doing this just for show, albeit to show that somebody is in charge? There is no real costing of electricity use, all they do is to virtually survey the house, access the quality of the tenants and slap them with outrageous bills. The prepaid meter costs N2000 alone monthly just for maintenance alone. We can now see that PHCN comes in after Nigeria Police Force in TI’s index of most corrupt bodies.

More than 2 trillion naira has been sunk in PHCN since last ten years, and the result is what we see. When was the last time their accounts were audited? It is high time we start making alternative power plan with solar energy. 70 percent of Nigeria power consumers are dependent
on generators. Nigeria is the largest importer of electricity in the world; all we have in Nigeria is a teeming population that cannot be transformed to any economic gain.

Everywhere you turn, you see human being crammed up from hospitals, airports to internet cafes. Nigeria is usually a noisy rancorous society going nowhere slowly. The only growth I notice in Nigeria is in terms of erection of physical infrastructures that are sometimes unplanned but growth goes beyond that. At what direction are we growing?

Have you been to PHCN office lately for a transaction and see the amount of money changing hands in open view? PHCN and EEFC officials are the latest ring of outlaws that are in currency now. A visit will convince you. I dare you to do that!


Mike onwukwe can be reached on [email protected] as well as on
skype - mikeonwukwe and contributed this piece from the new Rep. of
South Sudan

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