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Niger Delta

Price Hike: PHEDC Consumers Walk Out Of Stakeholders’ Forum

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Electricity consumers in
Calabar have staged a walk-out on the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, for failure to adhere to the directive of Nigeria’s Senate to suspend the new tariff on electricity.
The consumers were at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the PHEDC to seek their support for the new tariff regime.
In the course of deliberations, scores of angry consumers who disapproved of the new tariff staged a walk-out saying they would never subscribe to such exploitation by PHEDC.
Some of them who however vowed not to comply with the new tariff regime, however, charged PHEDC to improve on its services in the state before the implementation of the new tariff.
One of the consumers, Mallam Obuh, said that the PHEDC should have called a stakeholders forum prior to the implementation of the new tariff regime before distributing monthly bills to customers.
“Before increasing tariff, they are supposed to have called a customer forum. They are not here to give us the true situation of what is happening. The consumers are not benefitting. If government hands over the sector to private companies, it is because they are to bring in their ingenuity to make the sector better,” he said
Yet, another consumer, Asikong Egbe, on the other hand urged the disco to adhere to the Senate’s directive to halt the implementation of the tariff.
“The Senate said they should stay action. Why didn’t they stay action? The Senate said, maintain the status quo until we resolve the issue and they refuse. I believe that before we call this type of forum, we must resolve and agree before you implement the new tariff. We have not agreed, they have not stayed action and there is a court injunction restraining them from increasing tariff. But, they are not adhering to that court injunction,” he queried.
Head of Corporate Affairs of the Distribution Company, Mr. Jonah Iboma, said PHEDC has put modalities in place to tackle the challenges currently experienced by consumers.
He said that PHEDC would provide 200,000 metres for consumers to address the huge metering gap in the sector in the entire country, adding that this would put an end to issues of estimated billing.
“We are launching the failed transformer project where we identify any failed transformers in our network and work with the communities to replace or fix any failed transformers. That is why we have told our customers never to give money to anyone to tamper with the transformers rather they should come directly to us and we will take care of the problems,” he said.

 

Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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Niger Delta

Troops Immobilise 39 Illegal Refineries, Recover 950,000 Litres Of Stolen Crude Oil In N’Delta

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Troops of Operation Delta Safe have discovered and immobilised a total of 39 illegal refining sites, 91 cooking ovens, 24 reservoirs, 17 large dugout pits and 96 storage tanks in the Niger Delta region in the last two weeks.
Also, a total of 637,500 liters of illegally refined automotive gas oil; and 950,000 liters of stolen crude oil were recovered in the course of the operations.
Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko made this known at a briefing yesterday. He said, ten (10) criminals associated with pipeline vandalism, piracy, illegal oil bunkering and armed robbery were arrested.
Onyeuko said recovered items in the worse of the operations which included; 3 assorted arms, 48 rounds of different calibres of ammunitions, 2 AK-47 rifle magazines as well as 17 pieces of galvanised pipes and 23 wooden boats among other items used for illegal oil bunkering activities along with all the arrested criminals, have been handed over to relevant security agencies for further action.
According to him, troops’ of Delta Safe conducted these operations at different locations in villages, creeks and towns in Emohua, Ikwere, Port Harcourt and Ahoada LGAs of Rivers State.
Other locations were villages, towns and creeks in; Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North LGAs of Delta State as well as in Ekeremor, Brass and Southern Ijaw LGAs of Bayelsa State.

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Niger Delta

Four Kidnapped UNIPORT Students Regain Freedom

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The four students of the University of Port Harcourt who were abducted by gunmen have regained their freedom.
The students were returning from the Ahoada area of Rivers State when the kidnappers struck and whisked them away.
Report Say the victims escaped on Wednesday when a team of security operatives invaded the kidnappers’ den and engaged them in a shootout.
The Public, Relations Officer of the University, Sam Kpenu, while confirming the development, said the students had been reunited with their families.
He said, “Four students of the University of Port Harcourt who were kidnapped last weekend have been released and reunited with their families.
“Gbaa Nenubari, Asumbo Elizabeth, Eze Chimezie and Onosigho Augustine were abducted on their way from the Orashi River where they had gone for a vegetation sampling for their final year project and postgraduate research work.”
Kpenu said the Vice Chancellor of the school, Professor Owunari Georgewill, who received the four students in his office, commended the Nigeria Police Force, the Chief Security Officer of the university and the entire security agencies in Rivers and Bayelsa states for their prompt intervention which led to the release of the victims.

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Niger Delta

Police, Civil Defence Clash Over ‘Illegal Oil Bunkering Site’ In Rivers

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The police in Rivers State, have narrated how their operatives clashed with the personnel of a sister security agency – the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) over an alleged illegal oil bunkering site in the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Grace Iringe-Koko, in a statement in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, said police operatives who visited the illegal refining site at Ogbogoro Community for an operation, were resisted by armed officials of the NSCDC.
Iringe-Koko, a deputy superintendent of police, said the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, George Ariolu, visited the site with a detachment of police operatives led by Akika Solomon, an assistant commissioner of police.
She said armed civil defence officials, about 20 of them, prevented the chairman’s team from having access to the site.
“They were eventually disarmed and arrested by the police before Ariolu had access into the depot,” she said.
“We are fully committed to fighting the war against illegal oil bunkering to a logical conclusion,” she said.
In his reaction, Bature Aliyu, the NSCDC Commandant in Rivers State, dismissed claims that the site was used for illegal oil activities.
“The marine exhibit yard in Ogbogoro jetty is not an illegal bunkering site.
“It is a holding bay used by NSCDC to detain boats, vessels, barges and drums used for illegal oil bunkering,” he said.
Mr Aliyu, who spoke through an Assistant Commandant of Corps, Michael Oguntuase, said that NSCDC’s Commandant-General, Ahmed Audi, visited and endorsed the site in 2021.
“So, the yard is NSCDC’s marine exhibits yard and not an illegal dump.
“Most of the exhibits there were arrested by the Nigerian Navy and handed over to us, while some of the arrests were made by us.
“The Ogbogoro jetty is a no-go area for anybody because destroying the yard means destroying the exhibits,” he said.
Mr Aliyu urged members of the public to report any NSCDC personnel found culpable of oil theft, illegal bunkering and vandalism in the state.
The Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared war on operators of illegal refineries in the state.
The governor recently accused the police and the civil defence of aiding and abetting the operation of illegal refineries in the state.

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