Monday, July 8, 2013

PHCN: Before we join Pa Dawodu on hunger strike

The Economic Confidential, in a recent article warned politicians the world over to beware of the wave of anger sweeping through the different climes. 
The protests have different sides. In Brazil people rose up against bus fares, in Turkey, against a building project. Indonesians have also rejected higher fuel hike, in Bulgaria, a sorry state of affairs, the Euro zone the march against austerity, even as the Arab region protests against pretty much everything. The demonstrations have roots in the anger against the various governments resulting in dire consequencies. For instance,  
in Sri Lanka, a 61-year-old man suffered fatal heart attack and died after being presented with a shocking electricity bill. The aged man had protested 50 percent tariff increase at the Ceylon Electricity Board in Colombo last Friday. 
Sri Lanka is one of the most expensive countries in Asia with electricity of a kilowatt hour costing up to 47 rupees ($0.37), here in Nigeria In 2011, our erratic power supplier, the PHCN, jacked up its tariff from N8 to N40 for each kilowatt consumed.  
The wave of anger has been sweeping across our country Nigeria, silently caused by inconsiderate policies despite the fact that Nigerians are not carrying placards screaming the words. Today we have the ongoing ASUP strike, joined by NUPENG (before they called off their own strike), followed by ASUU and another interesting one; the 60 year old man, who embarked on hunger strike to protest high electricity billing, which we can aptly call 'crazy billing' by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)
Pa Abayomi Gbode-Ogun Dawodu's lone protest showcases the anger of  most Nigerians on the corrupt practices in the various sectors.
But sadly in Nigeria, hunger strike is not a language our government understands because it cares less about the likes of Dawodu even though he is a senior citizen. The fact remains that our government for instance does not mind that 4 million Polytechnic students have not received lectures for more than 70 days: our government can still not enhance economic status the people to enable them put food on their table. So such government would certainly not be concerned that citizen Dawodu is on hunger strike and for all it cares, the old man may kiss the dust after all he is already old so what does he need electricity for? Papa can 'deliberately' starve himself to death.
Obviously our government has lost respect for human dignity, if not the story of citizen Dawodu should have given the Minister for Power and the National Electricity Regulation NERC sleepless night for them to address the damning issue of crazy PHCN billing system in this country.
Since Pa Dawodu went on his hunger strike on Monday, what has happened?  And what will happen to other Nigerians groaning under such situation?
The crazy bills issued by PHCN stems from corrupt practices of officials in the system and many Nigerians can attest to this. The situation has worsened lately as the distribution companies have left much to be desired in their manner of reading meters, instead they would dispatch such crazy bills monthly, the type Pa Dawodu complained about.
It is worthy of note that Even the NERC boss 'Comrade' Sam Amadi has accused the management of PHCN of willfully thwarting its own meter deployment scheme in a bid to exploit electricity consumers through the  practice of  such crazy bills to Nigerians.

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