…to ensure improved bill payment in S/East
The Head, EEDC Communication, Mr Emeka Ezeh, said ina statement on Sunday in Enugu that the launch of the initiative took place recentlyin five states under EEDC jurisdiction, which included: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi,Enugu and Imo.
Ezeh explained that in the initiative, thecommunities are expected to ensure that bills for energy consumed are paid forin full, while as incentive, commission on the collection will be paid to thegroup appointed by the community to oversee this responsibility.
According to him, the initiative will therebycreating a source of income for them and lead to improvement of electricitysupply in the community as well.
“EEDC last week launched its Community EmpowermentProgram, an initiative targeted at communities, designed to provide reliable,guaranteed and quality service to them.
“The program also provides job opportunity formembers of the communities through partnership.
“Present at the events were representatives of therespective state governments, traditional rulers, President-Generals of communities,management staff of EEDC as well as other stakeholders,’’ he said.
In his remarks during the launch of the initiativein various events, the Managing Director of EEDC, Mr Okey Nwosu, said that theinitiative was introduced as part of conscious plan to reduce Aggregate Technicaland Commercial (ATC) losses experienced by the company.
“At the same time create profitable businessopportunity for the community as well as job opportunities for its members.
“The communities are expected to ensure that billsfor energy consumed are paid for in full, while as incentive, commission on thecollection will be paid to the group appointed by the community to oversee thisresponsibility, thereby creating a source of income for them.
“To ensure this initiative is sustainable, the participatingcommunities will enjoy better power supply with regular maintenance of theelectricity infrastructure serving them, and that meters will be installed atthe transformers for efficient energy audit and measurement,’’ Nwosu said.
During the launch in Awka, Anambra State, Gov. WillieObiano, lauded EEDC for the initiative and expressed the state government’spreparedness in supporting it.
Obiano, represented by the Commissioner for PublicUtilities, Mr Emeka Ezenwanne, said the state government would partner withEEDC to ensure that the initiative works, and provide better supply to thepeople of the state.
At the launch in Owerri, Imo State, the DirectorGeneral, Imo State Power and Rural Electrification Agency (I-POREA), Dr AlbertOkorogu, commended the initiative and encouraged the communities to imbibe thehabit of turning off lighting points during the day and appliances when not inuse.
According to Okorogu, I-POREA is already partneringwith EEDC in ensuring that the culture of energy management is entrenched,adding “There is a law coming and we are going to ban the use of incandescentbulbs which causes us a lot of problem’’.
In Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, Commissioner for Powerand Energy, Mr Ogbonnaya Ude, while expressing appreciation to EEDC over theinitiative, said it was a welcome development.
“Energy saving bulb, although costly, lasts longeronce it is of good quality and will reduce cost on energy consumption,’’ Udesaid.
It was gathered that the company plans to take theCommunity Empowerment Programme further to communities within South-East; whileinterested communities are encouraged to visit the District Office in charge oftheir area for further enquiries.
Highlight of the launch events was the freedistribution of energy saving bulbs by EEDC to all the customers in attendance.
It was been observed that the high bill in most ofthe communities can be attributed to the use of incandescent (filament) bulbsand not turning off bulbs and appliances when not in use.