The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, has reacted to reports on social media that some of its members of staff defrauded residents of the Federal Housing Estate, Ogbor Hill, Aba to the tune of N2 million.
The reaction was contained in a statement made available to DAILY POST, weekend, by EEDC’s communications manager, Mr. Emeka Ezeh.
This is following reports that some unnamed officials allegedly extorted the money from the residents, with a promise of getting them a transformer.
Ezeh has now come up to describe the claims as tissues of lies.
While challenging the customers to “provide details of the staff who received the said sum of N2m from them and possibly the date this transpired,” Ezeh said “I find it difficult to comprehend that such amount of money can be handed over to an unknown person.”
He disclosed that “from information gathered, the transformer serving the customers developed fault, and while effort was being made to repair the transformer, the customers were mobilising, contributing money to buy a new transformer; but we do not encourage such, as it is our responsibility to replace transformer.
“Considering a huge outstanding debt of N43 Million owed by customers served by the said transformer, the Network Manager in charge of our Aba District, met with the representatives of the customers 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 N3 Million 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 N2 Million into their individual accounts. This money was paid at the bank and not to any EEDC staff, as alleged in the earlier reports; and I understand that the receipts of the payments is with them, and the payment was made in N1.5 Million and N500,000 installments respectively.
“May I reiterate that customers of the Federal Housing Estate, Ogbor Hill, Aba, never paid any money to our office nor handed such over to any of our official; and that the money they paid was made into bank account to service their indebtedness, and not for the purchase of a new transformer, as alleged.
“Subsequently, after their payment of N2 Million, their transformer was replaced, but unfortunately, developed another fault after few days. Effort is being made to replace the transformer and restore the customers.
“We are however concerned about the hostilities on our field staff by residents of the Estate who are in the habit of not paying their electricity bills, and not allowing our staff carry out disconnection of indebted customers. There is no doubt that this attitude obviously informed the huge outstanding bill incurred by the customers.
“The need for customers to pay their electricity bill cannot be over-emphasized. There is no way EEDC can be efficient if customers owe it so much. Replacement of transformers, as well as its repairs cost money, and a situation where some customers resort to emotional blackmail of EEDC and taking advantage of some of their media friends/associates to disseminate unverified information and make unfounded allegations is disheartening.”
On media attack on Sir Emeka Offor, the Chairman of the EEDC, over donation of money to the Rotary Club, Ezeh said such was misplaced as Offor was also “the Chairman of Chrome Group and a successful business man, with chains of businesses locally and internationally.”
“He is also a globally recognised philanthropist who has donated millions of Dollars towards the eradication of Polio.
“These activities are executed by his Foundation, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, a non-governmental organisation involved in touching lives for years now.
“His act of philanthropy and generous donations towards cause he believes in should not be misconstrued by anyone, and has nothing to do with the operations of EEDC.
“It is also important to state that EEDC is a regulated corporate enterprise, manned and managed by qualified and competent personnel. Its activities/operations has nothing to do with the gestures by Sir Emeka Offor.”