Some electricity consumers in Lagos on Wednesday lauded the Federal Government’s directive that the Distribution Companies should provide meters for their customers rather than giving them estimated bills.
They spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the directive would reduce the exploitation and bring sanity to the power sector.
NAN reports that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Raji Fashola, had on Monday gave the directive to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Fashola said that the directive followed the number of complaints coming from consumers on meters as well as concern expressed by them about the estimated billings and mass disconnection.
Commenting, Chief Ade-Owas Owabumuwa, the President-General, Amuwo Odofin Landlords and Residents Association, Mile 2, Lagos, said that the DISCOs were using estimated billings to exploit innocent consumers.
Owabumuwa said that the directive by Fashola was a good development, if it would be implemented by the NERC.
He said: “We have really suffered from Ikeja Electric as a result of estimated billing by their management.
“We have protested to Ikeja Electric offices here in Amuwo and Ikeja so that they can stop this estimated billing method and give us prepaid meters, but they continued to promise us.
“They kept on increasing the bills monthly and if customers complain, they will threaten to cut power supply from the pole.
“I am urging the NERC to ensure strict implementation of the directive in order to make it effective and beneficial to most of us under estimated billings.
“All customers should be on prepaid meters so that we can monitor our energy consumption instead of getting estimated billing. Enough is Enough.”
Another consumer in Lekki, David Akinyemi, said that he received an estimated bill of N82,000 from Eko Electricity Distribution Company in June for his two-bedroom flat.
Akinyemi said: “While I received a bill of N82, 000 for electricity consumed in June, my neighbour who uses prepaid meter, recharged N5, 000 for the month.
“The only solution to estimated billing is to get your own meter and control your energy.
“Government should not just give order; they should ensure that any DISCO found wanting should be penalized.”
Also, Alhaji Nurudeen Muritala, the Chairman, Ebute-Meta Landlords’ Association, accused Discos of preferring estimated billing to distribution of functional meters.
Muritala said: “They are using the method to exploit consumers.”
He urged the Federal Government to follow the order to the latter so that unmetered consumers would not continue to be exploited by the electricity companies.