Consumers Owe PHCN N700m In Onitsha

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Mr. Maxwell Ojiakor, Senior Manager (Public Affairs) at the Onitsha office of the Power Holding  Company of Nigeria, PHCN, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday that residential and  commercial customers were owing the company about N700 million, while industrial consumers were up to  date in their payments.

He said: “as at January, our debt profile is around N700 million. We would not be able to give the  breakdown now because the system where the information is stored, we cannot access it now.

“For our industrial customers, they have been paying. Their payment is almost 100 per cent. Where we  have problem is the residential and commercial.

“For now, there is no incentive because the incentive package we gave around two years ago, the people  on pre-paid meters who are 54 per cent of our customers, complained that it is a cheating on them.”

He said that the unit, through its zonal office in Enugu, was making plans to install pre-paid meters  in the premises of its remaining 46 per cent of customers.

He said that the pre-paid meter was the perfect solution to the problem of debt build-up and that it  had helped to conserve electric supply and protect the company’s equipment.

Ojiakor, however, urged customers using pre-paid meters to always re-charge their cards for it to last  at least a month in order to save time, cost and energy of re-charge weekly.

“If one can re-charge for six months or more, it is a plus to the person; since the normal N230  compulsory monthly deduction as stipulated by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)  would be deducted whenever the customer comes to re-charge,” he said.