Electricity consumers decry high billing, poor power supply in Nasarawa
Electricity consumers who are displeased with the poor power supply in Nasarawa State have appealed to generation and distribution companies to make energy more accessible and people-oriented.
They said their expectations after the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) had been dashed following the high bills, fixed billing system and poor power supply in the state.
They made the appeal at a consumer town hall meeting organised by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in collaboration with the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in Lafia, the state capital.
Some of the consumers who canvassed downward review of the bills are John Ari and Mohammed Abdul from Shabu; Christopher Dogara from Lafia east; Samuel Odeh, Aboki Sule from Ombi 1; and Suraji Abubakir from railway.
Others who complained of ‘paying for darkness’ are Suleiman Mohammed of Shendam road, Mercy Fred of Shinge and Aliyu Dauda, among others. They lamented that they have not seen electricity for the past three months, yet the AEDC kept serving them ‘crazy’ bills.
The consumers’ complaints at the forum bothered on the estimated billing, which they described as outrageous, poor power supply, extortion of consumers by some staff of the AEDC and uncivilised manner in which consumers and their complaints are being handled.
Deputy Governor of the state, Silas Agara, who was represented by the Commissioner for Works and Housing, Mohammed Wada, urged the management of AEDC to consider their plight and provide prepaid meters to reduce over billing of consumers.
The regional manager of AEDC, Chris Chime, expressed worries over the increasing spate of vandalisation of the company’s installations, especially transformers in the state and called on consumers to cooperate with the company to protect the property against vandalism.
Also speaking, NERC’s Commissioner of Consumer Affairs NERC, Moses Arogu thanked the participants for expressing their pains and assured that the Commission, as the power regulatory body, would ensure equity and fairness to the distributors and consumers.
Arigu assured that the commission would soon open an office in Lafia where consumers would lay their complaints to enable it carry out its statutory regulatory function effectively.