Aggrieved communities storm IKEDC, dump ‘crazy’ bills
MIFFED by outrageous bills, aggrieved customers have abandoned over a thousand electricity bills at the gate of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) in a peaceful protest against alleged deplorable services rendered to their communities.
The protesting residents, who visited the company’s head office in Ikeja, stood at the entrance, singing protest songs saying enough is enough, displaying placards and accused the electricity company of failing to provide smart meters, crazy bills, incessant power outage, failure to respond to their plight by the business units, among others.
The Chairman, Joint Action Committee Electricity Distribution Company Customers Forum, Olawoye Ayodele, who spoke on behalf of the affected communities, rejected the attempt to review tariff upward, estimated billing and poor maintenance said, “most of the equipment were provided by consumers, and we are paying fixed charges. The fixed charges are nothing to write home about, so we are returning over one thousand bills, and would keep returning them in subsequent months to their business units in our areas, we don’t see reason to pay fixed charges when it is the consumers that are providing the equipment. We have weak wires, tilted and damaged poles. We have written letters, requesting for replacements, but have not received their reply.”
According to Olawoye, “the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is also not helping matters, they say one thing, then do another. IKEDC should have started meter distribution with customers who don’t have meters, but they went to areas where about 40 percent already has meters. They have said it will take about five years to meter all their customers, but do they expect us to keep paying estimated bills for five years?
“We will not pay until we’re provided with meters. I was billed over 400 units instead of about 181 units. I went to the business unit and told them I will not pay until there is a reversal. We also have a case which we have informed NERC about a house that is usually billed about N5,000 to N7,000 but is now given over N400,000. We wrote to the business unit and we are yet to get a response. There are many other cases. We want prepaid meters.”
The communities represented include Oke Aro, Agbado, Adiyan, Agbado, Orudu, Akera, Oju-irin Aboro. They all came together to say they will not pay estimated electricity bills, until they are provided with smart meters.
The Balogun of Oke Aro, Chief Enilolobo Ebenezer, said the king of Oke Aro is also affected.
“We gave a large portion of land to the electricity organisation, which was commissioned, yet they are punishing us. It is not easy to get something from the government, government should also be aware of its responsibilities to the people.
Even if they disconnect us we will not pay, we are returning the bills. We don’t want crazy bills, we want smart meters,” he said.
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