The Nigeria Export Processing Zone (EPZ) through its Calabar zonal office is alleged to be owing the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc a total of Seventy-One Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety-Nine Naira over the past two years.
The EPZ, a customer of the electricity distribution company enjoys supply of electricity from Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc, and subsequently, supplies electricity to consumers in the EPZ Complex.
The electricity supply to EPZ is metered at the sub-station, while EPZ meters consumers connected to them and consequently pays PHED based on the power supplied and meter reading to the complex.
Our investigations reveal that this business relationship has been smoothly facilitated through EPZ’s Electrical sub-station facility managers. However, since February 2021 the EPZ decided to manage the sub-station directly. Since then, the EPZ allegedly started underpaying PHED for power consumed pretending that they doubt the integrity of the meters that has served them over the years.
This development, our correspondent gathered led to the invitation of Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA to check the accuracy of the meter and based on the report of NEMSA, reconciliation was done, and a demand made on EPZ to pay all outstanding due to the power company. However, EPZ has since then refused to pay PHED which led to the disconnection of the EPZ complex.
All efforts to get the management of EPZ to pay their debt to the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc, we were made to understand has failed leading to suspicions that the EPZ may be in financial mess.
Meanwhile as the storm brews with agitations over lack of concern for stakeholders since the complex was disconnected, the EPZ appearing unperturbed about the development.