June 10, 2009

Electricity consumers protest fraudulent billing

By Tony Edike

ENUGU—ELECTRICITY consumers in the five states of South East zone of the country, have protested what they called fraudulent and crazy billing by Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in the zone.

They alleged that PHCN in the zone had some months back embarked on estimated billing as against actual billing from monthly meter reading with a view to rip off the consumers even when power supply in the zone has remained epileptic in past months.

Worried by the development, a group under the aegis of Electricity Consumers Conglomerate South East geopolitical zone, has sent a petition to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) calling for its intervention to save the people of the zone from further exploitation by PHCN officials in the zone.

“We are compelled to protest the fraudulent billing of electricity consumers in the whole of the five states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo in the South East geopolitical zone.

In 2005/2006 Engr. O.C. Akamnonu (the former zonal head of PHCN) introduced this type of questionable billing in the zone particularly in Onitsha.

These fraudulent high bills pushed the PHCN revenue in Enugu zone up to the first position. However, the euphoria did not last as consumers in Onitsha who were pained by the cheating protested for eight days,” the petition said.