Whichever stand you take on the power sector, it’s difficult to argue that some Distribution companies seem heads and shoulder above others. One of the DisCos in this elite league is Eko DisCo. Blessed with a consumer mix that many would envy, Eko holds Monopoly of power distribution over the commercial hub of Lagos & Nigeria, particularly in the Island areas, where hundreds of Maximum demand consumers are housed.
This blessing of consumer mix may have lulled the distribution company into a false sense of security, preventing it from evolving with the tides and ignoring the needs and concerns of the lesser paying – but equally important R2 customers.
Case in point – The Games village area of Surulere is a typical residential area and in a recent interview with a spark correspondent, residents of this suburban area shared their ordeal with Eko Disco’s metering policy.
Typically the way metering works is when a customer applies to get metered, his outstanding bills are reviewed. If he has any outstanding payments, a payment plan is being structured, typically allowing the customer stagger payments over a period of time. This method is being adopted by various DisCos across the country and it is one of the few commendable processes that customers applaud. However, Eko DisCo does not oblige to this school of thought, like a spoiled child playing by his own rules, Eko forces it’s customers to clear all outstanding bills at once before issuing them new units on their meter.
This barbaric system now opens up a can of worms, including consumer disputes over the validity of the bills in the first place. As opposed to the installment payment plan where customers can just wave the sometimes excessive bills because the financial burden is not immediate.
A man residing in the aforementioned games Village, Surulere, share his ordeal with spark media, explaining how even after a load assessment team had come to his place to evaluate his power usage, there still wasn’t a proper remediation plan put in place and he is still being compelled to clear his outrageous outstanding bills which are still being contended, before he can purchase new units.
From a business standpoint, maybe this makes sense for Eko, but with more and more customers getting sick of the companies reluctance to budge, the alternative energy market is becoming a far more attractive option. More customers are now willing to foot the extra cash to install solar panel and inverters, than wait for a distribution company who just seems unable to empathize with its customers. So Eko DisCo ironically may just be the biggest marketer for alternative energy without them even knowing it. Simply because of its stubbornness, which now borders on arrogance.
See Eko, We get it, you’re doing well and R2 customers aren’t exactly the ones footing the big bills, but do not for one second underestimate the influence that regular customers have on the power sector market. With the Federal Government looking to force its new policy on power purchase freedom for MD customers, you’d be better served tending to your R2 customer’s needs, soon they may just be the only customers you have.