Attitude of Consumers towards Public Utilities.

Attitude of Consumers towards Public Utilities. (A Case Study of Power Holding Company Formerly Called Nepa)

Literature Review

Consumer Behaviour (An Over View)

The term consumer behaviour has been viewed from many vantage points by many authors.  A consensus of opinions seems to be a mirage.  The study of consumer behaviour explains who the consumer is, what are his preferences and what influence his action.

These questions are vital to any form that wishes to achieve the goal marketing concepts. We need to look at some authors’ views here on the subject matter.

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According to Watson (1975, P.135) saw consumer behaviour as “the way people act in the exchange process”.  In this wire, Engel (1978, P. 212) define consumer behaviour as “those act of individuals directly involved in obtaining and using economic goods and services including the decision processes that precedes and determine these act”.   However, this definition throw a more light to subject matter but in its entirely, does not find a further meaning of the subject.  The definition of consumer behaviour as “the decision process and physical activity individual engage in which evaluating, acquiring and using economic goods and services has not battered the other definition.

According to Williams (1982, p243) seems to gain wide acceptance. He defined consumer behaviour thus “All purchase release before, during and after the purchase itself as performance by buyers and consumers of products and services and those who influence the purchase.

The latest definition embraces all the point mentioned by the other authors and goes further to include the influence of the consumer on environmental forces. This forces consists of learning personalities, attitude, self concept and perception, the environmental forces influencing the consumer by societal clam, family welfare group and culture, others are promotional communication, the state of the economy and price/quality relationship.

2.2     Marketing Application of Consumer Behavior Theory.

Perception could be define as the process by which an individual selects, organizes and interprets information input to create a meaning picture of the world. The perception of product offered and organization ,making them are critical to the establishment of exchange relationship perception could be highly selective perception). And yet others forget what they have seen and heard selective retention.


Attitude is considered important in the field of marketing. This is because it plays a pivotal role in the major models describing consumers behaviour. It is defined by Eze (1995 p 3510 as the sum total of marks inclinations and feeling, prejudices, bias, preconceived, notions, ideas, fear, threat and conviction about any specific topic. They are formed through past learning experience with the product, service or ideas, or through relation with reference group such as family, social and working groups.

We have various kinds of human’s attitude, which could be discussed as follows:

  1. Appreciative attitude
  2. Non-appreciative attitude
  3. Damaging or vandalizing attitude

Appreciative attitude could infer from consumers when there is positive reaction towards goods or services. This could happen in a situation where consumers are patronizing a product constantly.

Non-appreciative may be inferred from consumers when they are not patronizing the goods or services and as a result they may start criticizing while their interest is not there.

Damaging or vandalizing attitude, this juncture, consumers any not like certain goods or service despite the kind of enjoyment they derive from it. This vandalizing attitude as in their minds.  Sometime, it is very common in most of our major towns, cities on our public utilities. Like public telephone booths/PHC, transformers and installations and cables, which are  being damage by undesirable people in the society.


A classiest G Allport has proposed many component with which attitude could be measured.

According to Allport (1986) such components includes:

  1. Cognitive: The manner in which attitude of objective is perceive.
  2. Affective is perceived.
  3. Behaviour: Feeling of like or dislike toward the object.

Hoston Corroborated Allport “New mains family that attitude, no matter their structure can be characterized as varying on certain dimensions?

According to him the most obvious dimension of an attitude is its directions. This involves whether the attitude is favourable or unfavourable and that the degree of each situation and can be rated. Apart from the two extreme situations another aspect of attitude dimension is neutral point. Hoston thinks that the neutral point would be the zero point in the scale titory and this zero point could be interpreted to mean the situation, where the person is not aware of the issue in question or many are aware but have no interest. On the magnitude of attitude that if this degree of favorable or unfavourableness, hoston conclusion is the difficulty of changing attitude tends to be directly related to the extremity of the attitude and that low extreme attitude is easier to change. Equally importance is the centrality of attitude which Hosten said reflects the importance of the attitude to the person where constrained by lack of purchasing power.

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The same journals reported that rapid devaluation of Naira at foreign  exchange market (FEM) has further push the cost of production beyond the reach of the ordinary consumer Obaseki (1993, p 521).


It is said that one major influence on consumer behaviour is then information the consumer receive from marketing organization. Marketing information interacts with such factors as culture group influence and personal influence to create an environment that enhances exchange behaviour.


The state of a country is economy affects consumers consumption of goods and services. In a period of economics depressing the tendency is tat consumers will reduce the rate of which they consume economic goods and services.


The price of a product or service is a major determinant of how many units of such a product should be bought. Price is a value expressed in terms of Naira or Kobo or any other medium of exchange. In economics price can be used as a measure of quality. Consumers to be extent consider price as an indicator of quality especially when a purchase is made without knowledge of relevant information.

Essentially, consumers’ perception of quality with price.


Public utilities to encyclopedia Britannia could be defined as enterprises that are privately owned but subject to government regulation and d are engaged in supplying essential services such as transportation, communication, water supply, sanitation or irrigation and electricity supply services.

Ayenuro (1973, p. 602) also defined public utilities as essential services rendered by the state or her accredited agencies to the public services to the public and is owned by the government that supposed to be more independent than the ordinary.

In Nigeria, we have the following public utilities, which are being run by the government. They are Nigeria postal service (NIPOST) Nigeria Telecommunication (NITEL) Nigeria Airways (NA) Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) etc.

2.5     NIPOST

The organization is saddled with the responsibilities of worldwide provision of highly dependable postal link between and among members nation of the universal postal creed and sex.

Also provision of efficient and effective counter and remittance service in the sales of postal stamps have postal and money orders. Sales of international repay coupon and sales of postal office registered envelope.

Finally, promotion of international understanding concord and co-operation through correspondence and philately services.

2.5.2. NITEL

They are responsible for telephone service both within and external parts of the country.

2.5.3. NA

These organizations responsible for the services of transportation or the common carry function. This grapping way include the provision of the way as well as transporting medium. Transport service are rendered by high way railway, pipe way, water way and air way. Apart of the plant may be furnished by the government as in the case of high ways, waterways and airways.

In addition certain auxiliary services may be rendered, such as the provision of post check, terminal, elevators, warehouse, hotel and special used equipment.



The history of electricity was first produced in Lagos from this date on want and until 1950. The pattern of electricity development was in the form of individual electricity undertaken set up at various towns. Some of them by the federal government under the jurisdiction of the public works department and some of the native authorities and one or two large municipal authorities.


In 1950, in order to integrate power development and make it effective, the government passed the electricity corporation of Nigeria, ordinance brought under one control, the electricity undertaking which were under nature authority or municipal ownership and control.

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The electricity corporation of Nigeria usually the statutory body responsible for generation and sales of electricity to all consumers in Nigeria p. 22. Electricity Corporation of Nigeria began the explanation of the water resources of River Niger, up stream of Jabba. A series of meeting and resolution between 1955 and 1962 led to the commencement of construction work of Kanji Aydro power station in Kanji, Niger states N1.


The Niger Dams Authority was established by an act of parliament in 1962, the authority was responsible for the construction and maintenance of Dams and other worked on the River Niger and else where generating electricity by means of water power improving irrigation promoting fishers and irrigation.

Construction of the Kanji Dam which beginning March 1964 was completed on schedule in December 1968.


In September 1968 the federal military government decided to merge the electricity corporation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Dams authority into a single body. A year later, a Canadian form of consultant Shaw Mounts limited was appointed to look into the technical details of the merge. His report was submitted in November 1971.

By decree No 24 of 29th June 1976, which became effective from 1st April 1992, the electricity corporation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Dams Authority were merged to become the Power holding company station. The actual merge did not manager was appointed. The decree stipulated that the authority is the develop and maintain an efficient, coordinated and economical system of electricity supply for all parts of federation.

The affairs of authority is run by the member board whose members and chairman, are appointed by the chief executive (managing director) see to it that all decision of the board are effectively and efficiently executed. The chief executive is been supported by the executive directors namely generation, transmission and engineering sector, finance and administration. Due to the complexities involved in the process of power supply beginning with the generation to transmission, distribution and finally marketing of the professional is required to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Nevertheless, there is an existence of line position and staff relationship. Hence the engineers operate to maintain the line position in the generation and transmission sector. Through non-engineers such as personnel specialist and Accountants take upper in the management, the finance sectors, the fact remain that the position of the corporations managing directors/ chief executive has always been exclusively reserved for engineers like wise the position of general manager and AGM is the generation and transmission sector and distribution and marketing sector is meant for engineers.

District and undertaking manager were also for engineers and technologist. In order words, the various other   professional operating in those sectors play the staff role like the station accountants, administration officers, marketing officers, computer manager and others.

According to the provisions of decree No 24 of 1972 sub-section of the federal republic of Nigeria.

  1. The authority shall have powers
  2. To generate, transmitted, transform, distribute and market electricity either in bulk or to individual consumers in any part of Nigeria and shall for each purpose have and be subject to all right power obligations and duties conferred on impose by the electricity all on a license
  3. To construct, reconstruct, maintain and operate electric generating station, transmission and distribution lines on above or below the find transformer  station and all other stations, buildings works necessary for carrying out its duties under this decree.


Part 1, section 1.1 of decree No. 24 of 1972 which set the authority states; there shall be established an authority to be known as the power holding company and its shall be the duty of that authority as form the an efficient coordinated and economical system of electricity supply to all parts of the federation as the authority may direct and for this purpose.

To generate supply electricity for consumers in Nigeria or as may from time to time be authority by the authority.

Then part II section 7 (i) pf the decree 24 of 1972 of the provision of this decree the authority shall be charged with the general of.

  1. Establishing, managing such electricity to establish in the public interest.
  2. Supplying electricity and promoting economic and efficient electricity, the improvement of risk culture.
  3. Operating irrigation schemes and the provision of future works with the approval of the federal country in connection with the ruler Nigeria and its affluent for all and any of the purpose mentioned in this section schemes.
  4. The manufacture, position, sales, letting on line connection, maintenance reports or removal of any electric lines, filling appropriation or appliances for lighting heating or power for any other purpose of which electricity can be used.
  5. The authority shall maintain the continually supply of electricity as required by the electric act and any regulation there under.
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The authority shall in no case be under any obligation for loss damage or in convinces caused to any consumer through any suspension failure discontinuance or whole or partial interruption of the supplying of electricity however caused. All charge chargeable shall be sub-mitted for approved to the minister of mines and power.


The sources of fund as contained in the PHC Annual report and Accountant 1998 includes funds from operation, which comprises.

  1. Depreciation and Amortization
  2. Adjustions for items not involving the movement of funds.
  3. Investment deferred account written off
  4. prior years adjustment and funds from other course such as contribution to fixed capital investment federal government loan, state government, saving from foreign loan, deferred accounts.

Long Term Foreign Loans.

Export credit guarantee department Visa and Nari and other aid loan for foreign financial institution.

2.8     Electricity Bills and By Information.

Apart from loan and grants, the main sources of revenue to the authority is the electricity bills paid by consumers for efficiency G.D fairness in the billing system the consumers and categories into three:

  1. Residential
  2. Commercial
  3. Industrial

Performance of Phc Enugu District

Performance may be evaluated in terms of how will the organization is involving in the direction of the stated objective. The old saying “If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there” as the time of an individual as it is of business. So realistic assessment of the performance of any organization can only be made in relation to its set objective.

Let me examine how for authority has been to fulfill some of the objective according to the provision of decree No 24 of 1972 as follows:

The authority shall have power to generate, transmit, transform, distribute and sell electricity either in bulk or to individual consumers in any parts of Nigeria.

According to source gathered from the authority quarterly magazine PHC review date June 1993, the authority presently has an installed generating capacity of 6098 megawatts from seven major power stations as against total national maximum demand of 2,300 megawatt which is an indications of the authority’s readiness to accommodate more loads. In the areas of transmission lines arts crossing the country as against a total span of 2,2741 cm. In 1972 to 1996 about 460 local government headquarters were 90 other were on the completion stage also necessary survey and engineering works has been completed for other 90 local government headquarters along with 115 important turns nation wide. Apart from these, PHC did other directly execute. The de-electrification of 218 villages.

Service Delivery

Some of the services, which the authority renders to its customers in Enugu district, include:

  1. Connecting of new lines to ones property.
  2. Metering
  3. Distributing of bills

Clearing of faults/regular supply.

Attitude of Consumers towards Public Utilities. (A Case Study of Power Holding Company Formerly Called Nepa)


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