Onilekere residents petition NERC over crazy bills, failure to provide pre-paid meters
Residents of Onilekere Community Movement, comprising of Shodeke, Egba, Oluyemi and Okitipupa Streets of Onilekere, Ikeja, Lagos has petitioned the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over the inability of Ikeja Electric to provide pre-paid meters as instructed by the agency.
The community had taken Ikeja Electric to NERC tribunal over crazy bills and lack of pre-paid meters under petition no. IFO/1096/2017 on January 2018.
According to the community leaders, the hearing was conducted between the representatives of Ikeja Electric, the community and members of NERC panel.
At the end of the hearing, NERC instructed Ikeja Electric to provide pre-paid meters to the residents in the community within two weeks from the date of the said ruling, which the Bale of the Community, Chief Toyin Oko-Osi, said expired since February 8, 2018.
NERC also directed that the residents of the community without active meters pay 60 per cent of their respective estimated bills.
The agency also urged residents that owed Ikeja Electric to ensure prompt and full payments of all their outstanding bills.
Speaking with The Guardian in Lagos, Chief Oko-Osi lamented that despite the fact that they have been complying with the part of the ruling of NERC, which affects them by making payment of their electricity bills, Ikeja Electric has refused to provide them with pre-paid meters as ordered by NERC in the said ruling.
“Apart from the lack of pre-paid meters, Ikeja Electric is compelling us to pay for the one year of no electricity in the community. We were in darkness for a full year from February 2016 to January 2017 due to lack of transformer. It took the efforts of leaders in the community to source for another transformer and now they want us to pay for the one of year of no electricity.
“It is disheartening that shortly after we got the new transformer, the electricity company started giving us outrageous bill. We want NERC to intervene in the matter and ensure we are given pre-paid meters,” he added.
An elder in the community, Mr. Bunmi Olajide said that the figure on the bills may have been intentionally inflated in order to exploit and over bill the residents for services not rendered.
He said that residents having been receiving monthly estimated bills ranging from N10,000 to N30,000 per flat.
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