The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, on Wednesday called for calm over electricity blackout in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states.
John Onyi, PHED’s Head, Corporate Communication, made the call in a statement issued in Port Harcourt.
He said that blackout in the four states was as a result of forceful shut down of the company’s offices and facilities by protesting workers.
“PHED wishes to inform her esteemed customers that blackout currently being experienced in most parts of her coverage area affected Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers and Rivers states.
“The blackout is as a result of organised labour`s action that barricaded and shut down PHED offices and Injection Substations.
“The shutdown has made it impossible for power to be wheeled out to all our customers and exposed our prepaid customers to difficulties in vending (payment).
“However, we are very hopeful that the contentious issues raised by the labour leaders would be resolved soonest,” Mr. Onyi said.
Mr. Onyi appealed to customers to bear with the company for the inconveniences the outage might have caused and assured that the company was fully committed to restoring electricity to the states.
NAN recalls that workers under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, and National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, picketed PHED offices on Monday.
The protesting workers accused the company of anti-labour practices, such as victimisation and sack of workers; poor condition of service for workers and arbitrary increase of electricity bills, among others.