Electricity consumers have called for the sanction of Estimated Billings and also the revocation of the licenses of Distribution Companies(DisCos). This was revealed during the Zonal Interactive session between the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Electricity Customers’ Complaints and electricity consumers in Lagos. The Electricity consumers also argued that the regulatory arm of the power sector, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), had connived with the Distribution companies to defraud electricity consumers.
Commenting on the issue, an electricity customer, Dr. Ibukun Ogundipe, Chairman, Ekiti Landlords and Landladys’ Electricity Consumers Association, under the network of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, said, “The distribution company is fraudulent as we are on the verge of charging them to court. We don’t get supply but still receive enormous and unimaginable bills on a monthly basis. In Ado Ekiti, for example, there are no pre-paid meters.”
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Also, Mr. Bode Ojomu of Magodo Phase 1 in Lagos State, called for the revocation of licences of the DisCos saying “There is need for a holistic appraisal of the DisCos to checkmate the irregularities in their operations. DisCos have not added any value to Nigerians. Power supply has turned from bad to worse, as we are constantly forced to pay for darkness. We are calling on the government to place a sanction on estimated billing and possibly treat it as illegal.” Despite all of these irregularities in the power sector, the regulators are yet to sanction these DisCos. It is on this note we say that NERC has been bribed by the DisCos to keep quite while Nigerians suffer from these crazy billing system.”
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Responding to the electricity customers claim, Mrs. Doris Azimi, Senior Manager, Market Analysis, NERC, said that with a staff strength of less than 200, the establishment cannot effectively monitor the activities of the DisCos while clarifying that consumers are not supposed to pay for meters.