09 December 2014, Lagos – Electricity consumers across the country have insisted that they would no longer pay the high estimated bills being slammed on them by the electricity distribution companies.
The consumers, under the aegis of Consumer Rights Advancement Organisation said they had adopted a position of “no prepaid meters, no more payment of estimated bills.”
The President of the organisation, Mr. Adeolu Ogunbanjo said in a statement made available to THISDAY that the issue of non-supply of meters has been recurring both before and after the privatisation of the power sector.
He, however, alleged that post-privatisation estimated bills are four times higher than the figures paid by consumers before the privatisation exercise, and accused the Discos of sabotaging efforts to supply meters to consumers.
Ogunbanjo noted that consumers of electricity across the country have been very accommodating to the extent of tolerating what he called crazy billings and very high estimated bills being slammed on consumers every month.
“It must be noted that, before privatisation, crazy and high estimated bills have not been as repelling as after the privatisation of the discos, where crazy and estimated billings are currently four times higher.
“This has encouraged the discos to deliberately continue to stall the supply of meters to electricity consumers in Nigeria. This has brought untold economic losses and hardship to Consumers. We make bold to state that Meter Manufacturers in Nigeria currently have over two million meters that meet local and international standards, waiting in their warehouses for interested Electricity Consumers. It must also be noted that all industry regulators, stakeholders and players like the Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) are very well aware of the availability of this very large stock of standard meters in Nigeria,” he explained.
According to him, the organisation has written letters and had interactions and engagements with the various stakeholders, including the Chairman of NERC and the Director General of Consumer Protection Council, as well as some of the distribution companies intimating them on the Nigerian electricity consumer’s plight and travails with crazy billings, very high estimated bills and the non-supply of meters.
He further stated that the consumers can no longer tolerate or accommodate the “DISCOs’ open exploitation and rip off, crazy billings and very high estimated bills, paying for DISCOs Technical and Commercial losses and the non-supply of meters.”
According to him, it is noteworthy to recall that when prepaid meters got introduced years back, they were supplied to electricity Consumers free of any charges.
– This Day