Residents Protest, Insist on Pre-paid Meters or No Payment


Residents Protest, Insist on Pre-paid Meters or No Payment Pre-paid Meter

…We’ve not abandoned consumers, Electricity coy replies

Residents of Okunola community in Mosan/Okunola Local Council Development Area of Lagos State have vowed to resist outrageous bills and called on the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, IEDC, to install pre-paid meters in their homes without further delay.

Protesting against what they described as “Crazy bills,” residents under the aegis of Duro-Olaleru Crescent Community Youth Development Association said they will resist outrageous bills without regular power supply.

A community leader, Joshua Faboye said the community had resolved not to pay electricity bills without pre-paid meter. “We are fed up with the system; if there is no power supply we are still made to pay bills for what we did not use.

We pay N750 as service charge and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said if they didn’t install meter they should not distribute bill but the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC) did not comply”.

Another resident of the community, Mr Olu Toyin said: “Ever since the electricity company was privatized we have not seen the best of them. Where I live they distributed prepaid meters from Iyana Ipaja, Egbeda and Alabata Streets; they stopped there and jumped to Okunola and Abule Odu to distribute the prepaid meters. We have gone to their office to complain without any positive outcome till date.

“They bring crazy bills like N20,000 and N50,000. There is even a house that was billed up to N1million which we all know is not possible because they are not running any factory there. In my house, I paid a sum of N10,000 every month , we are pleading to them to bring the prepaid meter so we can pay for what we consume”.

Contacted, the spokesman of IEDC, Felix Ofolue said the installation of pre-paid meters was being done in phases because of paucity of fund arising from the adverse economic situation of the country, which has affected operations of the company.

According to him, ‘’with regards to the provision of pre-paid meters, we have not abandoned consumers. The issue of pre-paid meters is a general problem across the country where other electricity distribution companies are operating.

The issue is compounded by the economic problems confronting the country which also affected the procurement of the meters. However, even if we have the resources to procure meters in large quantity we still have to factor in technical personnel that would install them.

‘’However, what we’ve been doing is to install the meters in phases. We have provided the meters in some communities including Idimu and Government Reservation Area (G.R.A) Ikeja among others and we are still installing in other places. To this end, I want to urge the people to be patient with us as we would surely get to their area.

He added: ‘’On the issue of crazy bills, we have installed a metering device in our transformers through which we monitor the electricity supplied and consumption in communities and the billing is based on what is supplied. The only problem is that of electricity thieves whose activities rub off on genuine consumers, hence, we are appealing to consumers to assist us in identifying these electricity thieves not for prosecution but for us to properly bill them so that the issue of crazy bill can be solved.”

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