Electricity Rip-Off: Buhari Must Act
SIR: I bought a prepaid meter in 2008 and quite early in 2011 the meter stopped working. Consequently, I was made to pay fixed sum till a new billing system was introduced.
In the first instance, the only alternative the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) could provide is for me to buy a new prepaid meter, which was annoying and irritating. For a family of three, it is so surprising that my monthly bill had jumped from an initial N5,000 to almost N30,000 in a two-room apartment. I have, however, kept to my monthly payment of N5,000 not minding their threats.
Many things are wrong with this system. Firstly, there is no known template or yardstick for determining the actual electricity consumption, since there is no meter to be read or monitored. I dare say somebody somewhere arbitrarily determines the electricity consumption and cost. Just like that. What a manner of an unfair system could this be? This is what Nigerians are passing through every month.
Secondly, the issue of N750 fixed charge. The purpose of the charge has not been explained till today. No tangible or tenable explanation has been offered for this amount, which is collected monthly. Of what essence this fixed charge if when a customer’s prepaid meter is faulty, the only available option is a new one? Will the government whose mantra is fighting corruption remain quiet in the face of this rip-off?
Finally, if a customer is ready to buy a prepaid meter, the process itself is a continued rip-off and short-changing. Such a customer will be required to clear all his bills including crazy ones and the estimated bill, after this a customer is expected to pay through bank draft the sum of N38,700. Then the customer will be told that in six months the meter will be ready.
In the meantime, within the next six months (some were not given meter even in 12 months), the very same estimated bill (that the customer was asked to clear before beginning the process of buying a prepaid meter), will still be sent to the customer on monthly basis, and as expected the customer has to pay. To me, this is a booby trap. The government should look into this issue.
• Adedeji Badejo,