Nigerians protest electricity billing system, exorbitant bills

on   /   in News 8:27 pm   /   Comments

A cross-section of Nigerians on Friday appealed to the nation’s electricity generation and distribution companies to make energy consumption people-friendly.

They said that their expectations after the unbundling of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) have been dashed following the subsisting “crazy bills and the fixed rate billing of electricity.”

They made their appeals in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the National Conscience Party (NCP’s) rally/protest against the management of electricity providers in Lagos.

Mr Friday Arinze, who resides at Iyana-Ipaja, decried the what he termed the exorbitant bills of the new energy providers.

According to him, poor Nigerians who are in their millions, could not afford such electricity bills.

“The bills that they are giving us now is too exorbitant; they should allow the power to be regular.

“With the way they are going, the poor will not be able to live in this country, as the standard of living is becoming unbearable for the ordinary man,” he said.

Mr Jeremiah Olaoye, a businessman, who lives in Ikeja, also bemoaned the absence electricity supply in his area since November, 2013.

Olaoye described bills for electricity consumers as outrageous, adding that the categorisation of consumers was wrong.

“We have not had light in my area since November and at my shop, they bring us bills of about three thousand, five hundred Naira?

“I am appealing to them to provide constant electricity and they also need to reduce the charges; it is unfair,” he said.

Mrs Falilat Adeyemi, a businesswoman, urged the new investors in the nation’s energy sector to overhaul their billing system.

“We want stable power supply because we burn fuel everyday, thereby wasting money unnecessarily,” she said.

Mrs Helen Ogbonnaya, another resident of Mowe-Ibafo in Ogun State, said that electricity supply had gone from bad to worse since the new investors took over.

“Sincerely, I will tell you that the electricity situation has gone from bad to worse. We have not had electricity since late last year.

“Power was a little bit stable before the new investors took over, but now, the situation has become very bad again,” she said.

Ogbonnaya also urged the new investors to end “crazy bills and fixed charges” for those who are not using prepaid meters.

“We want stable light because it is not easy to buy fuel; do you know how much my family spends on fuel?

“It is not fair to us in the middle class, if the rich can afford it, we cannot afford such. They should have a re-think,” she said.

NAN reports that the peaceful protest organised by the NCP started from the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s house in Ikeja to the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Office in Ikeja.

Dr Yunusa Tanko, NCP National Chairman, presented a protest letter itemising their grievances to the management of the NERC.

Tanko said that the bills given to consumers, the payments they are compelled to make, without light, was unfair to the masses, saying that the protest was to awaken the consciousness of the ordinary Nigerian.

“This will also serve as a wake-up call to every Nigerian because this oppression has to stop,” he said.

Mr Austin Okeke, the Assistant Secretary to the Ikeja NERC, received the letter on behalf of the management.    (NAN)

 

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