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Power consumers seek reversal of estimated bills, prepaid meters in petition to NASS

Few days after the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) launched what it called Whistle Blowing Policy to protect its installations and infrastructure, electricity users, under the aegies of Joint Action Congress of Electricity Distribution Consumers Right have petitioned the company, complaining of infractions in the ongoing bills estimation and non distribution of prepaid meters.

The petition signed by Chairman/Coordinator General of the body, Apostle Amos Olawoye, was handed to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, House Committee on Power and Chief Executive Officer, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Key submissions in the petition include that the Disco had without recourse to decorum and fairness, subjected its customers to arbitrary, embarrassing and inhuman estimated billings, which the DISCO cannot justify.

The petitioners are also calling for the immediate reversal of outrageous estimated bills to customers with functional meters and billing according to meter readings.

The group said “It is a dent on the sincerity and image of NERC because the non-compliance of IKEDC is creating the belief that the DISCO has turned NERC to a toothless bulldog.

“Though none of the 11 Discos scored above average, but Ikeja Electricity scored below average on every area of its services. It flouts NERC orders as if they are inconsequential”.

The petition which was mainly on the non-compliance of IKEDC with the NERC order on metering and energy/monetary cap as contained in the concept paper on July 2015 till date, said “This is because it is unlawfully benefiting from estimated billing through, which it robbed Peter and Paul to fill its pocket, capitalising on the ignorance of large numbers of consumers to defraud them by turning deaf ear to complaints of the customers who demand for the reversal or downward adjustment of over billing.”

There are thousands of untampered functioning meters, which Ikeja Electric abandoned the reading and resorted to estimated billing, adding that most of the affected customers have never got positive response for over two years because the company is not ready to rectify such bills.

According to the petitioners, its either IKEDC rolls out meters and install meters to unmetered customers before the October 2017 deadline, or they will approach the court.

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