Nigeria: Ogun Community Sends SoS to NERC Over Power Outages, IBEDC Outrageous Bills

22 April 2021

Residents of Olosun community, Ota in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State have called on the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to come to their aid as the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) is making life unbearable for them.

They said most of the time, the community is in total darkness as a result of power outages lasting for days without any plausible explanation.

According to the residents, the action of the power company does not preclude it from bringing outrageous bills for consumers despite the persistent blackout.

A resident of the community, Mr. Matthew Olaosebikan, on Wednesday said: "Only God can save us from this persistent power outage from IBEDC. For over seven months now, it has been from one outage to another. We spent the last Christmas in darkness.

"The outages do not stop the power company from bringing outrageous bills. Last month, I got a bill of N5,000 for the light I didn't use. I know we are paying for darkness. How I wish the regulatory agency can come to our aid because Ibadan Disco is making life unbearable for us."

Another resident, Mr. Raufu Alege, said he spends a minimum of N3,000 per week to fuel his generator as light has become a scarce commodity.

According to him, "The IBEDC officials told us that we are in Band D, which entitles us to a minimum of eight hours of electricity daily, but the fact is we don't have light at all for days.

"Look at what just happened in the last few days. We had light for an hour on Sunday, no light at all on Monday and Tuesday and they brought the light around 1am on Wednesday. This has been a recurring issue and this does not stop them from bringing their 'crazy' bills at the end of the month."

Alhaja Amirat Onugbogbo, on her own, said she always prays that it would not rain heavily in the community, as it would result in outage for about four or five days consecutively.

She said: "Whenever it rains heavily, the light goes off for about four or five days and when the IBEDC officials come to drop the bill for the month, they'll say the outage was as a result of the heavy rains which had damaged their equipment. They don't get tired of this excuse all the time."

Reacting to the complaints in an interview with THISDAY, the IBEDC Media Relations Manager, Bukola Tunwase, said since it seems most of the residents in the community have no meter, the distribution company engages in what she called 'caping or fixed policy' in its billing system.

Tunwase said it is the methodology NERC approves in determining the billing system of any area or community, adding that it is the regulatory agency that determines the band it places each community.

She, however, said that since she didn't have any fact about the grievances of its customers at Olosun community, especially concerning the outages, she would need to find out what the problems were and get back to THISDAY, but as at the time of filing this report, she has not done so.

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