Electricity consumers in the South-East have urged electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to strive to install pre-paid meters to all consumers to check over-billing and estimated billing that causes disagreements.
The consumers made their feelings known Thursday in Enugu during a forum of the House of Representative Ad-Hoc Committee to Curb Excessive Electricity Charges, being Levied on Consumers by Distribution Companies (DISCOs).
An electricity consumer from Awka, Anambra state Mrs Eunice Nwoye, said that the estimated bill was not making artisans make profit since “it is high and does not commensurate with the energy consumed’’.
“It is unbearable for a hair saloon dresser to pay as much as N5,000 when you hardly get uninterrupted supply each day.
“I believe if functional pre-paid meters are installed; it is definite you only pay for what you use,’’ Nwoye, who is a baker, said.
Another consumer from Ogbete area in Enugu, Mr Chidi Madu, complained about inconsistences in the estimated bills for his flat; adding “My estimated bills had continued to increase from N6,000, to N8,000 and now N10,000’’.
Madu noted that only full pre-paid meter compliance would ensure that Nigerians stop paying for what they did not consume.
However, some of the customers lauded the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) for the current expansion in their network.
They commended the EEDC for improved rate of servicing and revitalization on broke down and dysfunctional electricity installations and lines.
The Manager of Aqua Ralph Nigeria Limited, 9th Mile, Mr Joseph Olorutobi, lauded the EEDC for fixing electrical faults within record time.
“Apart from the recent dispatch EEDC attend to electrical faults and break down; it also finished the network expansion of lines with the 9thMile Corner axis within some days,’’ Olorutobi said.
He, however, appealed to the Transmission Company of Nigeria -TCN – to provide more electricity supply to zone especially as the population and industrial activities in Enugu had been expanding rapidly.
An artisan at Ogui Road in Enugu, Mr Chimezie Okechukwu, said that the recent installation of pre-paid meters in their premises had reduced the cost of spending on electricity.
Okechukwu noted that the bill had continued to drop from N8,000 to N4,500 since they only use the electricity only during business hours.
In an address at the forum, Mr Abdulkadir Shettima, the Deputy General Manager of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), said that the commission had put in place regulations to safe-guard the rights and privileges of consumers.
Shettima noted that NERC had opened its offices in virtually all the states in the country to entertain the complaints of consumers and ensure they are resolved.
Earlier, the Chairman of the House Ad-Hoc Committee, Mr Israel Famurewa, said that the committee was organising the forum in the zones to aggregate consumers’ views on the challenges they face and write a report formally to the House of Representative.
“As a people we must deliberate and come together at local level as well as the House level to find lasting solution to the issues and challenges bedeviling the electricity power supply in the country.
“At the end of the day, if entails fashioning out new laws or amending the existing ones we will do it for the betterment of our people,’’ Famurewa said.
Hundreds of electricity customers from the zone attended the forum where most of their questions were answered.