Residents of Ebute Metta, Mainland Local Government Area, Lagos, on Tuesday protested against what they called “estimated billings” by Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC).
The residents under the aegis of Concerned Community Development Associations (CDAs) staged a peaceful rally round major streets and submitted a protest letter to the Lagos Mainland Local Government secretariat, for government intervention.
They also alleged deliberate hoarding of the prepaid metres by the Eko DISCO, “Since they know this will prevent them from getting free money they are forcing electricity consumers to pay.”
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions as they marched to the council secretariat.
Some of the placards read: “EKEDC, our mumu don do,” “This extortion must stop,” “Ambode come to our aid” and “We are your customers, we know our rights,” among others.
Mr Dapo Williams, the Chairman of the association said that more than 21,000 electricity consumers in the area were being subjected to estimated billing by EKEDC.
Williams said the community had met with the management of EKEDC on several occasions and had various discussions and exchange of correspondence to end the estimated billing.
“We are tired of their excuses; we are no longer comfortable with the outrageous billing.
“We have to take to the street to register our displeasure with their crazy billing, they should give us prepaid metres.
“It is functional metres that will let us know the quantum of electricity that we are using on daily basis,” the chairman said.
Also, Mr Yinka Giwa, the Secretary of Abule-Nla Community Development Association, said in spite of the epileptic power supply in the community, Eko Disco had always given the residents crazy bills at the end of the month.
“We are protesting so that EKEDC should be aware that we are fed up with their consumer billing system.
“The company has found it pleasurable and convenient to adopt the system of using a ‘satanic and nefarious methodology’ to compute its consumer bills through estimated billing.
“Estimated bills are always served our community, regardless of EKEDC’s failure to supply reasonable energy.
“Now, no prepaid meters no payment of monthly bills, we are no longer a fool,” he said.
Mr Uzo Patrick, another protester, urged the management of Eko Disco to comply with the directive by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Raji Fashola that every Distribution Companies (DISCOs) should abolish estimated billing.
The Head of Department, Corporate Communications, EKEDC, Mr Ademola Adegoke confirmed that the company was aware of the problems faced by the residents.
Adegoke assured the protesters that they would be captured in newly introduced Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) policy.
He said Ebute Metta residents metering issue would be adequately addressed through MAP and appealed to them to exercise patience.
NAN reports that the protesting residents later matched to the Lagos Mainland Local Government, where they submitted a protest letter.
They urged the council chairman, Mrs Essien Rasheedat to intervene by calling the EKEDC to order.
By Oluwashina Iyanda