EEDC bloated Bills ....Stakeholders task Enugu assembly to summon EEDC Chief Executive within 72 hours

www.odogwublog.com reports that stakeholders in the  electricity industry, National Electricity Regulatory Commission,  NERC; Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, the academia and other consumers of electricity in the state,yesterday urged the  Enugu State House of Assembly to summon the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC Chief Emeka Offor, to appear before it within 72 hours to respond to allegations bothering on poor and shoddy services being rendered to electricity consumers in Enugu State by the company.

A committee set up by the Enugu state House of Assembly headed by the Deputy Speaker,Hon Dons Uzogbado,since the past one month has held public hearing and received complaints from consumers in the three senatorial districts alleging undue exploitation through estimated billing system, high bills,irregular power supply, non provision of prepaid meters etc against the management of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company,EEDC.


Several invitations for the officials of EEDC  to come and table their own version of the matter before the committee were ignored by the management of EEDC.
This prompted the various  stakeholders who were present at the yesterday's  interactive forum held at the state house of assembly to task the committee summon EEDC chief executive officer,Sir Emeka Offor  to appear before the house  within 72 hours.

Part of the seven point communique reads.' Enugu state house of assembly should summon the Managing Director/CEO and management of EEDC within 72 hours  for failure to honour our invitation'..

It was also resolved among other issues that EEDC should henceforth desist from engaging in geometric progressive billing and to, as a matter of urgency provide meters to every electricity consumer in Enugu State.

The communique also mandated NERC to make a public statement on the modalities for the difference in tarrif regime and specify the actual tarrif rate for Enugu DISCO while mandating EEDC to obey approved estimation billing methodology as well as to henceforth read functional individual/bulk analogue meters in absence of prepaid meters.

Speaking earlier during the forum, the NERC commissioner, consumer affairs, Dr. Moses A. Arigu, frowned at the inability of Enugu Disco to provide consumers with valid prepaid metres and pointed out they are doing everything possible to ensure that customers are provided with metres instead of estimated billing.

"We are seriously working on providing metres to consumers.  Estimated billing is not fair to Nigerians. It is a cheating. It is absolutely ridiculous.  You don't just write bills for somebody to pay," Arigu said

The NERC boss accused DISCOs of not feeding the consumers with accurate and necessary information and said that they should organise a town hall meeting from time to time to educate the consumers with their rights and obligations.

He advised that consumers should lodge their complaints to the appropriate quarters and to always write it down so that actions could be taken within a stipulated period.

The NERC Deputy General Manager, Barr. Chijoke Obi in his submission said that NERC feels the pains electricity consumers are suffering in Enugu and elsewhere in Nigeria.  He said that it behoves EEDC to provide safe, reliable and adequate power to consumers instead of shortchanging them in any way.

Obi however acknowledged that NERC is aware that EEDC is billing customers on estimated  billing but what was not right is the method they adopted in the estimation.  "We are aware of the estimated billing.  Most houses in Enugu are not metered," he said.

He explained that EEDC is supposed to provide consumers with metres within 60 days a consumer applies for a metre, pointing out that in providing the metres, the consumers should not pay any money to anybody other than to pay bills.

He also explained that it is wrong for consumers to buy transformers for EEDC.  "If anybody asks you to pay money, report it.  It is wrong for you to buy transformers for DISCOs," he said while pointing out that there are variations in the tarrifs being paid by some states in the Federation and added that the DISCOs do not have the right to disconnect consumers without first issuing them adequate notice prior to disconnection.

Prior to the communique, participants had blamed NERC and Consumers Protection Council, CPC, for not doing enough to protect the consumers from extortion and criminal tendencies by the DISCOs.

A drama, however ensued when EEDC which refused to honour the invitation to come for the Forum, brought a Federal High Court injunction to restrain the members of House of Assembly from going ahead to discuss the consumers complaints brought before them.

EEDC bloated Bills ....Stakeholders task Enugu assembly to summon EEDC Chief Executive within 72 hours EEDC bloated Bills ....Stakeholders task Enugu assembly to summon EEDC Chief Executive  within 72 hours Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Thursday, June 01, 2017 Rating: 5

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