A Village within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has been disconnected after its residents refused to pay the perceived over-estimated bills they were getting from the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC). The Village, Pyakasa is an uphill area which is about 12 kilometres from Abuja City Centre and about seven minutes’ drive from Lugbe town along Airport road. Pyakasa shares boundary with three other communities, including Aleyita and Chika.
According to reports, the communities have been thrown into darkness after their electricity supply was disconnected by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in September.
The villagers complied with a pre-metering customer enumeration carried out by AEDC while they waited for one year without getting the meters promised and so complained over the high bills they were getting. Then later on when they refused to pay the bills, the power authority disconnected them. Some of the villagers claimed that AEDC did not follow the guidelines regarding disconnection approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC).
The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) issued the ‘Connection and Disconnection Procedure for Electricity Services’ regulation on December 20, 2007. It declares all disconnections by the DisCos which do not follow due process as illegal and spelt out fines the offending DisCos would pay.
Specifically in Section 11 of the document. Once NERC finds a DisCo guilty, the DisCo will pay back to the customers an energy refund for ‘wrongful disconnection’.
A residential customer would be paid N1,000 daily; a commercial customer would be paid N1,500 daily for the period; while industrial and special customers would be paid N2,000 daily throughout the period of the wrongful disconnection.
Responding to the illegal disconnection claims, the AEDC said some of the communities affected by power outages including Pyakasa actually requested disconnection through a letter to the Lugbe Area Office and that the villages have since been reconnected after they requested for Reconnection.