Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Ndigbo United Forum, a scio-political organization, is to embark on a regional protest in the South-East zone to kick against estimated billings and all forms of exploitative tendencies in electricity distribution in the geo-political zone.
The protest which is expected to commence Monday, 27th January 2020, will hold simultaneously across the five states of the South-East region even as the organization has expressed its resolve not to renege on the protest but to ensure that the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company is compelled to see the welfare of electricity consumers in the region as topmost priority or have their operational license revoked.
Speaking with our correspondent in Awka on Sunday, acting President-General of Ndigbo United Forum, Chief Godson Chukwuma Ezenagu, said the demonstration became necessary following the sufferings electricity consumers faced in the hands of EEDC.
Ezenagu stated that removal of consumers’ wires, indiscriminate and illegal withdrawal of meters, exorbitant estimated billings as well as EEDC’s lack of customer welfare as it concerns incessant cutting of electricity supplies to customers in the southeast region, were some of the very remote reasons the protest was inevitable.
The President-General further disclosed that in spite of the poor supplies in the region, EEDC workers allegedly extort money from customers in the course of rendering their services.
According to him, the organization won’t chicken out of the struggle for an improved power supply for consumers in the South-East. He noted that over 56000 customers are involved and that arrangements are already in place to bill the affected customers on estimation by February 2020 bill.
Ezenagu said, “So when can they finish installing the new meters before then? NERC rules you replace customer meter at no cost if you remove.These meters were installed free by government during PHCN.
“So why should people pay for their replacement? Meter is now property of the company. So why should people pay for what is not theirs. MAP is to narrow the wide metering gap of the company and not for Meter replacement.
“These standalone meters are currently used in other Discos such as Jos, Kaduna, Ibadan etc. What magic have they used to sustain them? It’s about integrity of the meter. If the voltage drops, the old meter stops reading. This is how a good functional meter should work. Whereas in the new proposed meter if the voltage is low, the meter continues to read. Thereby customers pay for low voltage. We can’t take it.”