Reps move to sanction DISCOs over estimated electricity billing
The House of Representatives yesterday threatened legislative action against excessive billing of electricity consumers.Chairman, House ad hoc Committee on Curbing Excessive Electricity Charges, Israel Ajibola, dropped the hint in Kano.He spoke at an interactive session organised by Kano/Kaduna Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs).He said the House had been inundated with allegations of excessive billing, and DISCO’s refusal to provide meter, in preference for estimated billing.
He cited other complaints as non-compliance with the connection/ reconnection regulations and installation of manipulated pre-paid meters. He explained that the committee was constituted to do a fact-finding mission across the six geopolitical zones, to ascertain the authenticity of the allegations.He expressed concern that Kaduna DISCO was not represented at the forum, adding that the Head of Media and Publicity, who represented Kaduna DISCO, lacked the technical knowledge to respond effectively to questions.
According to him, the committee’s recommendation would determine the position on the bill sponsored by the House leader, Femi Gbajabiamila.The bill is seeking to criminalise estimated billing system as presently being operated by the distribution companies.
Power consumers who spoke at the session demanded the immediate revocation of the distribution companies in the country and also kicked against the outrageous billing system, which the DISCOs are forcing them to bear.
A stakeholder, Yunusa Murtala, lamented the unbundling of Power Holden Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and accused Kano Electricity Company (KEDCO) of supplying faulty meters to consumers.
On his part, Abubakar Dangora, complained of excessive tariff by KEDCO in the rural communities, especially consumers with lower-consuming appliances.Chief Operations Officer of KEDCO, Raul Sing, said the company has distributed over 70,000 pre-paid meters to consumers in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states, adding that KEDCO has always operated within the regulatory limit.
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