Some electricity consumers in Lagos metropolis on Wednesday urged the new investors in the nation’s power sector to comply with the existing regulation on pre-paid meters.
Some of the consumers said in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the investors were foisting hardship on Nigerians by circumventing the rules on pre-paid meters.
NAN recalled that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had in August 2013 directed the new investors to install pre-paid meters for consumers to avoid estimated billing.
Mr Amos Dauda, Chairman, Ogudu/Ojota Landlord/Tenants Residents Association, said that the new investors were forcing estimated bills by their failure to implement the Advance Payment Implementation Scheme (CAPMI).
Dauda said that they had not been supplied with pre-paid meters in spite of their applications to the defunct PHCN.
Mr Fashina Danjuma, the Managing Director, Aron Nig Ltd., an Electrical Materials Manufacturing Company in Ikorodu, said that their electricity consumption was still based on estimated bills.
Danjuma alleged that the Eko Electricity Distribution Zone had failed to address their issue in spite of the series of letters to the company requesting for pre-paid meters.
“It is bad enough that people hardly enjoy electricity, but it is most dehumanising when they have to pay for energy they did not consume.
“This issue of over-billing and sometimes crazy bills has been a battle between officials and consumers over the years,’’ he said.
Alhaja Tawakalitu Bamidele, a frozen foods trader at Alade Market, Ikeja, said that electricity company had failed to fulfill its promise to install meters after paying N25 000.
“I have been paying estimated bills, which is wrong. When I complained, the manager told me that they had no meter for now.
“The latest information is that new management has stopped distributing the meters, but promised to introduce their own measures,;’’ Bamidele said.
Mr Chibuike Danies, Chairman of Silberg Industries in Ojota Industrial Estate, also complained that most industries in the area were yet to have pre-paid meters.
“Nigerians welcomed the introduction of pre-paid meters with open arms, but have to gasp and groan when they can only see and cannot have them.
Mrs Beatrice Johnson, the Managing Director, Larry-Kay Pure Water Manufacturing Company, Okota, said that “we have heard that one can actually monitor how much he spends on electricity, but here there is no such luxury.
“Look at the situation now, in the last five months we have been having electricity for just one to two hours per day.
“Some days, there will be no power supply at all, but our bills have been almost constant; an official brings a bill of not less than N35, 000 per month without meter.
“There was a month our transformer was out for 26 days, meaning there was no electricity for two weeks, but when it came to the bills never reflected it.
“The amount is as constant as ever. Electricity administrators still bring bills of over N24, 000,’’ he said.
Mr Pekun Adeyanju, the Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, however, declined to respond to all allegations made by the consumers.