Rights group asks FG to probe DISCOs over billing system

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By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—A human rights group, National Coalition for Justice and Equity, has urged the federal government to investigate the activities of electric power distribution companies, DISCOs, over their continued over-estimated billing system.

In a press statement issued in Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, the state chairman of the group, Vincent Ezekwueme lamented that the DISCO companies charge arbitrary tariffs on the consumers, in spite of poor power supply and distribution system in the country, particularly in the South East geo-political zone.

He said:  “We cherish the privatisation of the power sector by the federal government, but we cannot understand the continued over
estimated billing system, which had made nonsense of the privatisation exercise.
“The privatisation of power supply is meant to be the bedrock for sustainable socio-economic growth and development. But today, the
DISCOs have deviated from the directive of Chairman of National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, that bills
should not be given to residents that don’t enjoy energy for two weeks.

“The over bloated estimated bills between N6,000 and N8,500 are charged on residents in Onitsha and its environs monthly, adding, we challenge the federal government to ensure that the payment of bills through estimated bills must be eradicated.
“Prepaid meters should be made available and there should be an end to the estimated billing system regime in the country.”

However, several calls made to Mr Osita Ugwuafo, Public Affairs Manager of Eungu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, in Anambra State, to comment on the issue proved abortive as his phone rang without response.
Meanwhile, most residents of Onitsha and its environs had previously made appeals to EEDC to provide them the much-awaited pre-paid meters to stop estimation of bills as well as check electric usage rate disagreements.

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