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Anger in South East as EEDC begins migration to digital metering

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Frustration, anger, and lamentation have continued to trail the move by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to migrate customers on stand-alone prepaid meters to its digital integrated billing system.

The residents alleged that the migration was a smart move by the power distribution company (DisCo) to rip them off, querying the motive for new metering when there was none in stock at the DisCo’s offices in the zone.

Already, some groups and organisations are mobilising for a showdown with the DisCo to get it to rescind the “sudden and harsh” move.

Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has threatened to mobilise residents across the zone to protest against the power company if it fails to rescind the new policy in the next 14 days.

Yesterday, several prepaid meter users who went to their service stations with their smart cards to recharge were turned back, as staff of the company told them that they could no longer be credited with energy.

They were told to begin the process of acquiring new prepaid meters by undergoing fresh registration of their residences.

On a visit to the service centre of EEDC at Agbani road, Okpara Avenue, Trans-Ekulu among others, The Guardian observed customers clutching their prepaid smart cards and loitering the premises.

While some said they only learned of the development on return from their Christmas and New Year holidays, others said they thought it was a rumour until they saw the notices.

Uchenna Ugwu, who said he actually ended on December 28, expressed shock over the development.

“I did not know about it. I returned from my New Year holiday yesterday (Sunday) and this morning, my neighbour relayed the information to me and I came to verify. My anger is that there was no pre-notice to what they are doing,” he lamented.

Another customer, Ezenna Orji said: “I came here on Friday and registered because I ran out of credit on December 31. After the registration, they asked me to apply for by-pass, which I did at Agbani road. But until now, I have not been reconnected.”

Mrs. Chinyere Orji stated that she would do all in her power to resist being logged onto the monthly estimated billing, as, according to her, “it means coughing out between N17,000 and N19,000 monthly on just electricity that is not reliable. It is wicked.”

Although officials of the company were seen registering customers for the new meters, customers who have already run out of credit and needed supply were asked to apply for by-pass, to enable them to continue enjoying electricity on estimated billing, pending the issuance of new meters.

Customers who applied for by-pass, according to the company, would be placed on “post-paid connection” from the next billing cycle of February this year.


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