Residents of Ifesowapo community in Agbado/ Oke Odo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State have told Ikeja Electric to stop supplying power to their communities due to continued outrageous billing by the company.
They have, therefore, resolved to drop their lines if the company refuses to comply.
The residents, under the Ifesowapo Joint Community Development Association, made their resolutions known in a letter to Ikeja Electric, a copy of which was made available to The Gazelle News.com on Monday, 21 December, 2020.
The letter, signed by both the Joint CDA Chairman, Mr Wasiu Bello and the Secretary, Razak Shekoni, was submitted at the company’s Undertaking Office at Ponle, along Egbeda Ikotun Road.
The decision was sequel to the crazy estimated November bills served residents by Ikeja Electric, with households receiving an average of 602 units as consumption. This amounts to over N24,000 per household.
“It is quite unfortunate that we have been at the receiving end of this dubious billing.
“We do not intend to continue the use of your services. It has been agreed that you should disconnect your supply forthwith. If we do not see the necessary action, all residents will drop their lines and will not be expecting any corresponding bill.
“We also need to emphasize that none of your staff should parade themselves in our communities both for official and non official assignment as we cannot guarantee their safety,” the communities declared.
The Gazelle News.com’s nvestigation revealed that some households got as high as N27,000 and N36,000 bills for the month of November alone.
An 85 years old elder in the community, who lives with his wife in a three-room bungalow, told our ckrreoainet that he got N24,599 for the month of November alone.
The Joint CDA, in the letter, said officials of the committee had lodged complaints several times at the Aboru office of Ikeja Electric over the crazy billing but the company did nothing.
It was gathered that some of the the community leaders had previously met with Ikeja Electric officials at Aboru on the November bill issue but were told that the issue was beyond them, that the Head office was responsible.
They were told to go and get prepaid meters to end the monthly crazy billing cycle.
In a similar letter, Olorunsogo Ifelodun CDA, described Ikeja Electric’s estimating consumption of energy to residents as not only callous but also very dubious.
“Without proper energy audit, we find it strange and disturbing for any sincere service rendering company to assume consumption in a community to be over 600kw per residence.
“The billing for the month of November is not acceptable and very contestable. We are, by this notice, insisting on discontinuing the use of your services in our community.”
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had in August this year, ordered distribution companies to carry out mass metering of unmetered customers nationwide.
The President’s ordered was an effort to put a stop to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity.
But, the president’s order seem not effective, at least going by the experience of residents of Ifesowapo communities. Up till now, no household has been metered by the company since the presidential order. The ones that had been metered were those who paid for the meters or those who got metered before payment was introduced.
It would also be recalled that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, had issued a regulation in February, putting a cap on estimated billing by Discos.
However, Ikeja Electric, has allegedly not complied with the regulation, rather its monthly billing of the Ifesowapo Communities since the regulation came into effect, has been on the increase.
The communities fall under the Akowonjo Undertaking, and by the regulation, customers who fall within the areas are not supposed to be billed above 116kwh and 134kwh depending on the tarrif classifications.