Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) is working to replace a faulty transformer in Federal Housing Estate, Ogbor-Hill, Aba, Abia and restore regular electricity supply to the estate, an official has said.
In a statement in Enugu on Sunday, the Head, Communications of EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, noted that the transformer was replaced recently but it developed another fault after few days of installation.
Ezeh debunked a social media in which some residents claimed that an unidentified staff member of EEDC collected two million naira from them for the purchase of a new transformer for the estate.
He urged such residents who alleged that they were duped by EEDC to provide details of the person who received the sum and details of the transaction.
“I find it difficult to comprehend that such amount of money can be handed over to an unknown person in this age and time with our level of knowledge, exposure and science,’’ Eze said.
He said customers in the estate never paid any money to EEDC office or any of its workers but that the money they paid was remitted into a bank account to service their indebtedness and not for the purchase of a new transformer.
“However, from information gathered, the transformer serving the customers developed fault and while effort was being made to repair it, the customers were mobilising, contributing money to buy a new transformer.
“But, we (EEDC) do not encourage such, as it is our responsibility to replace faulty or damaged transformers.
“Considering a huge outstanding debt of N43 million owed by customers served by the said transformer, the Network Manager in charge of Aba District, met with their representatives and advised them on the need to pay part of their arrears to enable EEDC replace their transformer.
“At the end of the meeting, they agreed to pay the sum of three million naira as part payment for debt-owed by the estate and they equally agreed to subsequently service this debt with a view to clearing the outstanding bill.
“At the end, they eventually paid a total sum of two million naira into their individual EEDC accounts.
“This money was paid at the bank and not to any EEDC staff, as alleged in the earlier false report in social media.
“And I understand that receipts of the payments are with them and the payment was made in N1.5 million and N500,000 instalments respectively.
“Subsequently, after their payment of two million naira, their transformer was replaced, but unfortunately, it developed another fault after few days. Effort is being made to replace the transformer and restore electricity in the estate,’’ Eze said.
He alleged that residents of the estate were hostile to EEDC field staff by not allowing them to carry out disconnection of indebted customers; which caused the huge outstanding bill incurred by customers in the estate.
“The need for customers to pay their electricity bill cannot be over emphasised. There is no way EEDC can be efficient if customers owe it so much.
“Replacement of transformers and repairs cost money.
A situation where some customers resort to emotional blackmail of EEDC and taking advantage of some of their media friends to disseminate unverified information and make unfounded allegations is disheartening.’’ he said. (NAN)