Community Refuses To Pay Bills Unless Provided With Pre-Paid Meters

Residents of Okunola community in Mosan/Okunola Local Council Development Area of Lagos State have vowed to resist outrageous electricity bills and have insisted that will not be paying anymore bills unless Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, (IKEDC) provides them pre-paid meters without delay.

Speaking through the Duro-Olaleru Crescent Community Youth Development Association, the residents said outrageous bills were slammed on them without regular power supply.

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A community leader, Mr. Joshua Faboye said the community needs pre-paid meters and constant electricity supply, adding that some tenants had packed out of his house because of power failure and crazy bills leaving him with no choice other than to use rent collected from new tenants to pay outstanding bill.

He said: ” When they were charging us about N750 for electricity consumed the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, warned the electricity distribution companies not to issue bills to consumers if pre-paid meters were not installed, but IKEDC did not obey the instruction.’’

Faboye lamented that the exorbitant bill has negatively affected businesses and social lives of the people living in the area.

“I am a retiree, all the money I generated from my house I give it to IKEDC because tenants will pack out. Immediately they pack out the new tenant rents will be used to pay IEC bill. If they don’t give us pre-paid meters, they should not to give us bill.”

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Another member of the community, Mr Olu Toyin complained that the IKEDC gave preferences to a nearby community.

“Ever since the company was privatized we have not been seeing the best of them. Where I live, IKEDC distributed pre-paid meters from Iyana Ipaja, Egbeda and Alabata Streets. They stopped there to jump to Okunola and moved to Abule Odu to distribute the meters. We have gone to their office to complain all to no avail.

“They bring crazy bills like N20,000 and N50,000. There is even a  house that is owing up to N1,000,000 which I think is impossible and because they are not running any factory there. In my house, I paid a sum of N10,000 every month, we are pleading to them to bring the pre-paid meter so we can pay for what we are consuming.

The spokesman of IKEDC, Felix Ofolue however said the affected consumers have not been abandoned saying:

“We have not abandoned them. Everyone knows the current economic situation of the country and harsh business environment which has also affected not just IKEDC but other electricity distribution companies across the country. Even if we have the resources to procure pre-paid meters, we still have to factor in the cost of engaging technical personnel to install them. In spite of the challenges, we have been installing the meters in phases and as we speak, we have installed the meters in places like Idimu and Government Reservation Area (G.R.A) in Ikeja. The residents of the affected community should exercise patience and we shall get to their area soon.”

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Busayo Oladejo

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