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Edo BEDC customers decry alleged outrageous billing

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
18 November 2021   |   2:57 am
Residents of Edo State on Wednesday lamented what they termed outrageous billing and high tariff by the DISCOs in the country.

BEDC. Photo: FACEBOOK/BEDC<br />

Residents of Edo State on Wednesday lamented what they termed outrageous billing and high tariff by the DISCOs in the country.

The residents, who were present at a Consumer Complaint Resolution Platform organised by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) with support from MacArthur Foundation in Benin, expressed sadness that they paid for the electricity they didn’t consume.

A counsel to Hotel Proprietors of Nigeria, Edo State, Mr. Peter Askhaimo, Esq., said he had written over 40 letters to the management of BEDC this year but with no response.

He added that he invited the Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency, NEMSA, to carry out routine checks on facilities in his clients’ premises after which BEDC was directed to supply NEMSA-sealed meters to his clients, lamenting that to date nothing has been done.

“I invited NEMSA, which carried out routine checks on facilities in all the premises of my clients.”

The outcome of that investigation was that the DISCO in charge should, within a timeframe, supply NEMSA-sealed meters to my clients, but up till this moment, the DISCO is adamant and still threatening my clients with overbilling.

“The first question is, what is responsible for this overbilling and high tariff of from N900,000 to roughly NGN4m in a month. A situation whereby hotels pay up to N5m monthly is unhealthy,” he lamented.

Another consumer, Kingsley Esiojie, said: “The way DISCO gives bill without electricity is worrisome. They only supply electricity the period they want to share their bills, and after sharing and payment, the supply would be taken.”

Earlier, the Executive Commissioner, Operations, FCCPC, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, said the event was organised for BEDC with its customers to interact with a view to resolving complaints brought to the forum.

He ordered that “cases brought here must be treated and completely resolved. We also want the timeline to be adhered to strictly, and any disregard to this directive will be viewed seriously by the FCCPC as insubordination.”

Responding, Head, BEDC, Edo, Mr. Abel Enechaziam, said the distribution company was doing all within its power to resolve all complaints before it, adding that out of the over 459,000 complaints the company received this year, over 455,000 had been treated.

He urged customers to channel their complaints to the appropriate office.

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