Group kicks against exploitations by DisCos
A human rights group, Africa Anti-Slavery Coalition (AASLAC), has kicked against continuous exploitation by electricity distribution companies (DisCos) compelling consumers to purchase transformers before the power supply is restored to residents.
In a statement, Convener, AASLAC, Tony Masha, urged Nigerians to resist the practice where they are being compelled to buy transformers for DisCos, who operate on profit-basis.
He cited an instance where residents of Bariga, Lagos, were ordered to buy a new transformer by Ikeja Electric Plc if they desired to be serviced.
He said the move had caused palpable apprehension among Bariga residents, alleging that technicians from the Gbagada office of Ikeja Electric often tamper with transformers and damage them to create opportunities to extort money from residents.
He also lamented that consumers in Gbagada District were slammed with exorbitant estimated bills for unavailable service.
According to him, the Nigerian Electric Regulatory Commission (NERC) prohibits community and customers from buying, replacing, or repairing power facilities.
He said: “Although by the regulations of the Nigerian NERC, R2 customers which Bariga residents fall within are to pay ₦1,892 per month pending when they will be provided with prepaid meters. Yet, Ikeja Electric imposes as much as ₦20,000 to ₦30,000 estimated bills on the consumers per month and any customer who dares to complain will be told to go to Oyingbo to buy a prepaid meter.
“Besides, the NERC equally enjoins customers who dispute bloated estimated electricity bills to continue to pay the last bill that was not in dispute until the issue is resolved. But since the Commission appears incapable of enforcing its rules and regulations, the DisCos have continued to engage in impunity.”