8 August 2018

Nigeria: Lagos Communities Embark On No Prepaid Meter, No Payment Campaign

Residents of Isheri-Oshun in Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in what they termed 'disconnecting darkness' have decried the outrageous billings by the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) and intensified the clamour for prepaid meters as the only way out of their dilemma.

Already, 15 Community Development Associations (CDAs) in a joint coalition have also agreed to reject the services of the electricity distribution company with a 'No Meter, No Payment' campaign starting from September 1, if their demands are not met.

The CDAs include Viable, Kosobameji, Isale-Ijon, Odo-Atoro, Oke-Isheri, Anu-Olohun, Palm city, Ajaye, Iseki-Ijon, God's own, Harmony, Wazobia, Fagbile Phase 3, Irepodun and Osun Isheri.

According to the chairman of the Joint CDA, Pastor Adewale Oyewo, apart from the epileptic supply they experience despite government's claim of improvement in electricity generation, the billing is outrageous.

"Whenever it is time to share new bill, they will give us deceitful light for few hours, after that the next thing is disconnection. For our neighbours using prepaid meter in Bucknor and Isolo areas, some of them use N5000 for over two months but we are made to pay between N8000 and N10,000 monthly without enjoying the light. We are tired of this crazy extortion and that is what we are trying to stop," he said.

A community leader, Muyiwa Tijani, said: "We have written to their headquarters in Ikeja, as well as their business unit in Okota and the undertaking office in Ijegun. The undertaking office had come to us and explained that prepaid meters are not available. They assured on improving their services by giving us eight hours of electricity daily; but a month after, we have had light for only 27 hours in the entire month."

When The Guardian visited the Okota office of IKEDC, officials refused to comment on the issue, especially whether they have received the protest letter. All enquiries were directed to the firm's head-office in Alausa, Ikeja.

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