The Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPADA) has issue the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) a 24 hour ultimatum to restore electricity after TCN threw the commercial city into total darkness for more than one week after disconnecting the Aba Power Limited (APL) Electrical from the National Grid.
ALPADA said that the actions of the TCN since the 21st of April 2023 which are different from the actions it has taken elsewhere are unacceptable as businesses are now suffering and the security situation has gotten worst as a result of the action disconnection.
Our correspondent reports that TCN on Friday, 21st April 2023, disconnected APL from the National Grid, sighting that the DisCo owes them N896,210,059.58 debt, an action that has thrown the entire commercial/industrial city of Aba into darkness.
The President General of ALPADA, Chief Alphonsus Udeigbo said that while it is not in the domain of ALPADA to question the disconnection, but it has the firm belief of the Aba Landlords that the disconnection order was in breach of the market rules of electricity.
“First, a suspension Notice dated April, 19th 2023 was issued to APLE, and requiring the company to remedy the default within thirty (30) business days of the date of suspension Notice in line with sub-rules 46.3.3 and 4 of Electricity industry market rules (EIMR), 2010.
“Curiously on the same date of the suspension Notice the market operator wrote to the Executive Director (TSP) TCN, notifying the said Executive Director that the market operator hereby issues a disconnection order for APL Electric for non-compliance without copying or addressing the said disconnection order to APL Electricity and consequently proceeded to disconnect the entire Aba and its environs from the power supply.
“Secondly, the purported disconnection order made on the same date, the suspension notice was issued on APL Electricity without giving APL Electricity the opportunity to remedy the situation as demanded under the suspension Notice is a total breach of the Market Rules and or runs contrary to the content of the suspension Notice as well as in total breach of APL Electricity right to Fair Hearing.”
Udeigbo said that since the disconnection of electricity in Aba on the 21st of April 2023 by the TCN, many people have died in many hospitals in Aba, many industries shut down and many homes have lost their expensive food items.
“Since this disconnection, the Aba business community has lost over N30 billion. We urge them to apply human face in their actions. We don’t want problems in this city at all. This action of TCN came at a very wrong time.
“The action is targeted at the outgoing administration as well as the incoming administration. Whereas we know that the outgoing has done their bid while the incoming has plans as well.
“The TCN violated their own rules. We know that there are other DisCos owing more than APL, but their cities are not thrown into darkness like Aba. This is an action taken in bad fate. We are seriously sensing a well-planned economic and security sabotage. Their actions have placed Aba in danger.
“Criminals can take advantage and vandalize the whole electricity equipment like cables because they know there’s no power. It’s pure sabotage on the Aba business community because we have many customers who cannot come here again because they know productions aren’t on.
“All the garment industries in Aba are shut down and the economy of the South-East not just Aba as a city is under attack through the action by the TCN and this great and important economic and commercial city is seriously suffering and we call on the Federal Government to respond now before TCN shuts down Aba and place more people on the unemployment list.”
He said that ALPADA has already sent the TCN a letter demanding the immediate lifting of the disconnection order MO- DO/TCN/002/2023 which was used to disconnect the APL Electrical.
A copy of the letter reads in path: “In the Circumstance, we the Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPADA) and on behalf of Electricity consumers within Aba and its environs hereby; DEMAND, that you lift the said Disconnection Order MO- DO/TCN/002/2023, within 24 hours from date of Receipt of this demand letters having failed to comply by the Market Rules as well as the content of your own Suspension Notice.”
Udeigbo said that in the event of TCN’s refusal to lift the order within the stipulated period, ALPADA and all Electricity Consumers in Aba who are now been made to suffer the consequences of their action by throwing after they had been thrown into total darkness since over one week now shall have no option than to embark on a peaceful protest to their office at Alaoji Aba.