Scores of electricity consumers in Papa Ajao in the Mushin area of Lagos State on Thursday protested against the alleged crazy billing and other sharp practices of the Eko Electricity Distribution, Mushin Business Unit.
The protest came barely 24 hours after the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission announced a 50 per cent reduction in the electricity tariff apparently to assuage the growing complaints of consumers about overbilling in the face of current deteriorating power supply.
The protesters, arriving the office of the EKEDC at the Isolo Junction end of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway around 9am, carried placards with different inscriptions such as, “No electricity, no bills, no ladder”, “Enough is Enough to overbilling” and “Bring ladder and die,” among others.
The protesters claimed that they were being asked to pay more for electricity they never consumed, noting that in the last two months, the supply had dropped abysmally to less than two hours per day.
The leader of the protesting residents, Pastor Ige Idris, said their current electricity bills were higher than some five months ago when they had more relatively stable supply.
He said the people would continue to resist any attempt by officials of the power distribution company to distribute bills or carry out any disconnection of electricity in the area, if the situation was not immediately addressed.
Idris, in a signed petition addressed to the Head of the EKEDC Mushin Business Unit, stated that the community had resolved that “there will be no further payment of bills and disconnection until we are sure we enjoy power supply.
“In addition, we wish to use this medium to inform you that until we have a stable supply of power, we will continue to protest.”
The Station Manager, EKEDC, Mr. Francis Nduka, appealled to the angry residents to be patient with the company and promised that all their grievances would be looked into.
He said the drop in power generation caused mainly by vandalism of power equipment was responsible for the poor supply, adding that efforts were being intensified to improve the situation.
The Commercial Manager, Mr. Kunle Ogunro, said the billing was beyond the station, adding that the system was generated nationally by the NERC.
He, however, stressed that the recently announced slash in the tariff would address the problem once it was effected.