25 September 2018

Nigeria: Lagos Community Laments EKEDC 'Crazy' Billing

Residents of Papa-Ajao community in the Mushin area of Lagos State have lamented being charged for the electricity they did not consume and have jointly resolved to sustain their present campaign of no prepaid meter, no payment of electricity bills.

The affected streets: Yusuf, Oloje, Osoro, Adio Shomade, Shotinoye, Oloruntoyin, Daramola, Odusina and Olapeju streets have petitioned Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) over the distribution of outrageous estimated bill while mobilizing for residents to return the already distributed bills to community leaders to be returned to the Mushin business unit of the firm.

According to a resident simply identified as Jude, every 6th or 7th of every month is a nightmare for residents. "Anytime I remember about electricity bill, my heart is troubled as if I am in deep debt. The trauma is just too much. People will be served bills of N30,000, N45,000 when they are not operating a factory, a situation that has made electricity bill higher than the house rent itself. To make matters worse, the community was disconnected during the Sallah holidays without notice," he lamented.

Secretary of the Papa Ajao Togetherness Community Development Association (CDA), Mr. Oyenekan Gbolagade, told The Guardian the problem started in October 2016 when residents were mobilized to stop paying estimated bills. They were disconnected for three weeks. EKEDC then promised to rectify the crazy billing only if we pay a certain percentage, which we agreed to.

"About 18 months after, they began to send us crazy bills again, which we all collated and returned to their office. They said we should go and pay first before our demand would be met, but because of our 2016 experience, we decided not to pay. And we were disconnected since August 19, 2018. We want our light restored and we want prepaid meters to end this regime of crazy bills."

When contacted, an official of the business unit in Mushin who pleaded for anonymity said the matter is being resolved and power has been restored. He, however, denied that the community was disconnected owning to the dispute on the bills but the blackout was due to a faulty feeder, which has been fixed.

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