PHCN Provides Explanation For Abuja Blackout

Oct 16,2011 – Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have continued to criticise the massive power-cuts across the nation’s capital, describing the act as “inefficiency on the part of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)”. 

In a cross-section of opinion carried out yesterday by our correspondent, some of the respondents lamented that the blackout had negatively affected not only the business activities in Abuja, but also the social life in general.

The PHCN had, on Monday, announced that five power stations of the company in Geregu, Sapele, Ughelli, Olorunsogo and Omotosho, would be shutdown due to maintenance work by Shell.

However, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had, in a release signed by its Manager of Media Relations, Mr. Michael Faloseyi, on Thursday, said that the massive load shedding embarked upon by its licensees was a violation of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 and that appropriate sanction would, henceforth, be meted out to the erring organisation.

Mr. Chinedu Nwanko, who resides in Kubwa, a satellite town in the FCT, decried the excuse giving by the authorities of the PHCN, stating that the company needs to be overhauled.

“I can’t believe this is happening again when by now, we should be enjoying constant power supply in the country. After so much billions of naira spent by the past administrations and the promise by President Jonathan to tackle power problem, so maintenance work is what the PHCN is doing now when they suppose to be talking about additional mega watts. The company needs to be probed and overhauled,” he said. 

When contacted at the PHCN Service Centre in Kubwa, the Public Relations Officer of the company was not in the office. However, the Business Manager, Mr. M.A. Sule, said the problem around Byachi was a different case.

“The service grid from Shiroro to Abuja had a problem but it has been rectified on Wednesday. You can see that there is electricity in my office presently. If anyone said he has no light, it may be a local problem, not a general one. However, the ongoing maintenance was to make things right,” Sule said.

In a recent report, the Principal Manager, Public Affairs of the Abuja Distribution company of the PHCN, Mr. Debo Adegoke, also confirmed that apart from the shutdown of five power plants for maintenance, the Abuja distribution region had also encountered technical challenges at the Shiroro Hydro station which supplies Abuja and its environs.