22 May 2015, Lagos – The Nigerian Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, NECAN, has accused the Distribution companies of extorting customers by billing them for undelivered power. This is even as customers in Isashi areas in Lagos state have warned DISCOs marketing officers in the area not to venture entering the areas with the notion to disconnect resident until there is improvement in the power supply delivery to the community.
“In a chat with Vanguard, the Interim President of NECAN, Mr. Tomi Akingbogun, said “There is a big challenge in the billing system of the DISCOs to customers because tariff is so high with the bills pegged at a constant and increasing rate despite the drop in power supply to make up for such demands from the public.”
According to him, the power sector is faced with total collapse. “The actions of the DISCOs and GENCOs are not yielding positive results, as they seem to show more interest in generating money without maximum satisfaction to Nigerians.
He added that the SMEs and other businesses are suffering due to their inability to meet up demands as they spend over 20 percent of their income on fuelling generating sets. “Due to this lingering issues associated in the industry, I can say something is deeply wrong with both the GENCOs and the Distribution companies because the customers on their part are ready to pay high as long as they see the dividend of what they are paying for,” he said.
The NECAN boss however charged the incoming administration to investigate, probe culprits associated with all forms of irregularities in the power sector, as well as put in place measures that would help rid the system of extortion customers presently experience. In the same vein, A residence of the affect community, Kenneth Ikechukwu, observed that power supply to community is not encouraging yet they are being giving exorbitant charges at the end of the month as bills.
“How can one be paying for what he did not buy? It is very unfortunate that these companies owing the defunct PHCN assets are not bothered with the plight of customers, but instead they are always consistent in collecting money month end.
Another resident, a business tycoon at the area who prefers not been mentioned in the print, said he uses an average of N1000 daily to power his generator. “When I calculate what I spent on petrol for my generator a year, it is amounting over N350 000 and this is because my family cannot stay without power.
“Also, irrespective of the heat we have to rid, I still have to power my generating set to watch programmes on the T.V, this is because if you do not go that far you would lose money paid to watch the cable network connected as there is no refunds to such payment,” he added.“Residence however, urged in the incoming administration to look into this issues and proffer a lasting solution to fraudulent act ongoing in the power sector.
*Ediri Ejoh & Mildred Ibrahim – Vanguard