Power: Nigerian consumers under fears DisCos proving above law

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File: Protesting Dopemu community people, making a bold statement to Ikeja Electric, at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos in 2018.

Some consumers of electric power in Alagbado, an area under the area covered by the Ikeja Electric Distribution Company in Lagos State, have complained that the company’s officials serving them are pushing them to anger by their exploitation.

The DEFENDER gathered from affected consumers at AIT area who said they are being continuously increasing bill charges without power supply.

These consumers, who refused to disclose their identities for fear that that the DisCo will punish them with further deprivation by stopping supplies to their area if their names are mentioned, said the attitude of the officials including their managers is that of “Nobody can stand us.”

One of them told this online medium that, “In my area near Alagbado Police Station, we do have light regularly but I am afraid that now that we are talking to press, they may begin to cut us off but for how long would we continue to hide our concerns?” He asked.

Asked if they had light in their area, why their complaints? He said: “One, they give us outrageous bills.  We asked them to give us pre-paid meter they refused.  One of the houses around us here Adigun Street, near Alagbado Police State, N150,000 was paid to IE for pre-paid meter they didn’t supply it.

“Another problem is that when you pay these huge amount of money they charge on the bills, the alert Ikeja Electric sends to you is lower, making us suspecting that we the customers are being defrauded by the officials but who will help us against them when even their managers defend all of these?” He said.

As for others who complained, they said they are being skyrocketedly billed without commiserate power supply.

One of the customers said: “In December, I can tell you that we had a whole week that we didn’t have light.  Days when they gave us light it was light they are telling us they are doing us favour and not that they are doing their business the way they do it.  And they do these because they know that whether they supply us light or not they will forcefully collect money from us for power we did not consume.”

Another consumer said: “We have visited the AIT Undertaking Office at Ibari Road, Alagbado and what the marketing manager told us was that we were overcharged because we used light at its peak for the month of December 2018.  But that is a big lie.”

Generally, the consumers of Ikeja Electric, like other consuming customers of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), across the country are calling on the government to help them against the “wickedness” of a business people who do not supply them product but still force them to cough out money to cut them off from electric polls.

The DEFENDER reports that it took the DPO of Alagbado Police Station mid-last year 2018 to free customers in one of the houses under the AIT Undertaking Office of the IE from the DisCo’s forceful exploitation.

We gathered from the house that IE hired two categories of ladder carriers who go from house to house threatening people with disconnection without due process.

One of them complained that, “That time last year, guys wearing red overall uniform used to come to this place and they would just put ladder by our electric pole and begin to climb threatening to disconnect our light without asking for our bills to ascertain whether we have paid or not.

“It so happened that despite the fact that we owed them no kobo, they disconnected our lights and we stayed three days without being connected.  Our offence from what we learned from the same guys was that we chose to pay our bills and not bribe them. 

“We however thank the DPO of Alagbado or let me say the Alagbado Police Station for saving us from that regular harassments from IE officials.  What is left now is for them to give us light at the time they so please and still give us crazy bills and still defend why we must pay.”

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