An electricity consumer in the Ozuoba axis of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State was on Saturday , allegedly beaten and bloodied by officials of Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED).
Trouble allegedly started when officials of the company came to the area to disconnect power supply of bill defaulters.
The consumer was said to have questioned their mission especially as he was on an estimated billing regime and showed evidence of payment to the coffers of the company.
An argument ensued and it was in the heat of the argument that the officials dealt him a blow on and burst his head with their operational tool.
What would have snowballed into a major crisis in the area was however,nipped in the bud by officials attached to the nearby Ozuoba Divisional Police Headquarters.
The victim was taken to a nearby clinic for treatment just as the dramatis personae have made useful statement to the Police.
Some respondents who spoke with our correspondent were of the opinion unless the Federal Government Of Nigeria (FGN) and the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) completely phase out the estimated billing regime of Electricity Distribution Companies ( DISCOs), electricity consumers will continue to be shortchanged by the service providers.
“The authorities have outlawed this obnoxious billing regime but I think they should go a step further to implement it to the fullest. This will check these type of awkward situations.”
“On the hand, what is holding the mass metering programme in the State. Let’s hope that the much awaited distribution of prepaid meters will go a long way in addressing this problem especially if the Nigerian factor will let it work,” a respondent concluded. ##