By Onozure Dania
A
s the October 2, deadline given by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, to address the complaints of persistent fraudulent and outrageous monthly estimated electricity bills raised by residents of 312 Road, Festac Town, Lagos, elapsed, the residents have cried out that EKEDC has refused to provide them with pre-paid meters.

NERC, in an acknowledgment of the petition and directing EKEDC to treat same, said, “Please find attached a complaint from a customer within your distribution network. Kindly look into the issues raised with a view to resolving them and revert to the Commission on actions taken to resolve the complaint on or before October  2, 2017.

“We acknowledge the receipt of your complaint on the above subject matter.”

The petition entitled  Persistent Fraudulent Estimated Bills, Despite Demand for Pre-Paid Meters, said, “We, residents of the above close in Festac Town, write to intimate you of our woes in the hands of EKEDC, as same is far from over or resolved. Despite our earlier petition on the above subject matter, things appear the way they are or even worse, with EKEDC still giving residents estimated bills of between N9,750 to N15,000 for just the month of September 2017, which was dumped at the close on September 16, 2017.”

The residents, in the second petition, dated September 18, 2017, a fellow up to an earlier one dated July 28, 2017, said: “Sadly, rather than provide us with prepaid meters, which we gathered from reliable sources were available, EKEDC has continued to harass and intimidate the residents with individual and mass disconnections over fraudulent estimated bill and has dared the residents by continuously issuing us outrageous monthly bills of between N9,780 to N20,000 for a two bedroom apartment each month.

“Flats with pre-paid meters in the same area pay between N1,800 to N2,200 per month, but EKEDC has been imposing the fraudulent 10 times of that on flats without pre-paid meters, even though it has criminally stopped reading meters in the flats.

“We are aware, through your response to our earlier petition dated July 28, 2017 that you are looking into our petition, but we are constrained to note that EKEDC appears not to be doing everything, possible to be accountable to any body and feels that it can, through its officials, deal with us the way it seems fit, believing that we are helpless.

“Sometime in last week of August, 2017, a certain EKEDC official, named Mr Falana, repeatedly disconnected the residents, and has repeated same in September, even when the matter was yet to be resolved and he boasted that there was nothing we could do about the matter. All we want are pre-paid meters.”

“As it is, we are at the mercy of officials of EKEDC, who impose outrageous bills on us and yet, force us to pay same, even when we complain,  the only language they have for us is ‘go and pay first’.

“We have no option than to still do this follow up and plead that you save us from these exploiters, who have made our lives miserable. We insist that our meters are working but EKEDC decided not to read them to justify the fraudulent exorbitant and outrageous bills they give us, which is a criminal offence, that must also be probed and appropriate sanctions imposed on them to serve as deterrent.

“We insist on pre-paid meter or nothing more, as EKEDC has for three years, failed to read these meters but prefer to impose fraudulent estimated bill on us to extort us, which they have done for over three years and if you don’t save us, things may get out hand for the residents, whose patience have since worn out.”

 

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