Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the government deception.

Filed under: National Issues |

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For a very long period of time, electricity has been a mess in this country and not too many people amongst those who can actually do something about it care. At a point the government claimed the problem is from the body responsible for its provision. They changed the company through privatization thus a transformation from the National Electricity Power Authority (NEPA) to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) or what Nigerians today refer to as “Please Hold Candle Nigerians”. And yet a transformation to something else through privatization.

Few months ago, the government came up with the idea of a Pre-Paid meter system, piloted it in many States of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory. Initially a lot of Nigerians including myself thought that the real deal has come to Nigeria after a very long time. As a matter of fact I said to myself, bye bye to darkness and good night to outrageous and unverifiable bills. One thing I didn’t know is that the pre-paid card system will be the biggest disaster in the country. The federal government through the ministry of power and NERC said then that the ball is now in the court of Nigerians, if we pay for light then we will have light and that if we don’t have light, the body in charge of its provision will not make a dime.

But all this was a big fat lie. The only truth in all the governments statement was the single fact that the body charged with the responsibility of providing the nation with light is going to be making money whether there is light or not. That’s the only truth! They said the ball is in our court but the truth, is that our balls is in their fist because since then, they have been making tons of money from Nigerians without any value in return. I had a one month experience with them; where I had to run generator for a full month without seeing a blink of light. The painful thing was that I loaded my card with the sum of N5, 000 before then. I was hoping that whatever their reason or reasons for not giving me light dies off, that I will resume on my N5,000 units but that wasn’t the case here. The light was restored after one month of darkness. The amazing thing however was that when they brought back the light mine wasn’t on but my neighbours had light. I went out to check the reading of my meter and behold, it was “0:00”. The anger inside of me nearly burst my chest. I calmed myself down, picked up some money, grabbed my car key and drove straight up to their office to lay complain as well as purchase another unit if I must have light that day. My calmed countenance couldn’t control the anger that took over when I was told by the lady who sells units, that I couldn’t buy any unit of N2,000 as I was owing N2,000, she said this after she has thrown my money to a corner of her table. I was so pissed that I had to slap away the piece of papers on her desk and demanded a detailed explanation of what the heck she was talking about. She stubbornly refused to give any explanation and I in return, refused to drop off my demand. Some of the other buyers began asking that I clear up the place so she could attend to other people while many others insist I press hard to get answers to my question. The argument all of a sudden escalated into a mass fight. For me I didn’t care what was going on behind me, my only concern was to get an explanation on why I have to owe N2,000 when I paid and loaded N5,000 unit that was never used even for a day.

It was at the peak of the chaos that the manager came out of his office, settled the mini-mass fight and then demanded to see me in his office. While in his office, I narrated everything to him and in return he explained that once a “unit” is bought and set active on the system, whether used or not, it reads and a tariff of N12.50 with a N750 fixed charge is deducted from it. Meaning to say that at the elapse of my unit and as I didn’t have a way of knowing since there was no light, it further attracted a N2, 000 charge which I needed to pay up before I can make additional purchase. In my mind I immediately considered it to be the silliest explanation ever. I turned round and told him that with all due respect, his explanation makes no sense whatsoever. He asked how much units I wanted to buy and I told him N2, 000. He collected the money from me, stepped out of his office and came right back in with a slip that has just 28 units in it which was nothing compared to the amount of units N2,000 could buy. I collected it from him and walked out of the office in anger. When I got to an open view, the other buyers began to cheer, to them I was a hero but to myself, I was cheated hero.

The government keep playing on our intelligence and calling us stupid at the same time. I mean it’s okay that they choose not to provide the nation with the adequate electricity she needs despite all that this nation have in abundance, but it’s not okay for them to keep extorting us like they are doing. It is not okay and it is not acceptable.

God bless Nigeria!

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