A peaceful protest was held on Saturday by residents of the Ministerial Pilot Housing (MPH) estate in Millennium City, Kaduna, asking the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Federal Government to force Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) to stop its “outrageous billings” and provide them with prepaid meters.
The residents holding signs reading “Stop billing us enough impunity,” “We are not industrial consumers,” said they were prepared to take legal action against the distribution business.
MPH Electricity Committee Chairman Abdulrauf Taha told Daily Confidence that the community’s residents had many meetings with KEDCO and NERC, but they are slammed with outrageous bills ranging from N40,000 to N250,000 every month.
Taha said These outrageous bills come on a monthly basis.” We have a situation where N17,000 is billed for a one-bedroom apartment and N250,000 is billed for a three-bedroom apartment. The smallest bill, in reality, is about N40,000. So we don’t know the parameters they use and the question is what has happened to the capping mechanisms of the government? ”
As KEDCO has not adopted any of the recommendations and is still to be sanctioned by the regulatory agency, he described the many meetings with NERC and the disco as fruitless.
It was decided after the meeting that the disco takes load measurements and then gives us meters, but they slammed us with higher bills the very next month, and they didn’t test us until today.
Our region under the Federal Mortgage Bank is a new estate. The transformers were provided by the mortgage bank, while we provided the poles and cables. The disco gave us nothing but to start billing us,’ he said.
Their demands are plain, according to the chairman: “We want them to stop billing us, we want them to provide meters for us, and we want them to wipe out the outstanding bills because we can only pay for what we consume.”
Daily Trust reports that Badiko people, Unguwan Rimi, Apakwa have also complained of such billings and insist that they want to supply them with prepaid meters from the distribution company.
I made a complaint and the disco sent technical staff to take my load assessment, and after that, the staff assured me that my actual intake was well below what I was charged and that the problem will be rectified, Halima Rufai, who lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Badiko said: Instead, I saw another rise of N10,000 the next month and my new bill is N38,000.
When contacted, the Head of Corporate Communication for KEDCO, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, said that since the Service Dependent Tariff started, there has been a substantial increase in supply hours, so an increase in charges as spelled out in the SBT should be anticipated.
However, Abdallah said that consumers contesting their billing have the right to lodge a complaint that will be investigated and resolved by the disco.
“There are established NERC procedures for the resolution of customer complaints that we always advise customers to follow. Many don’t, unfortunately, but would rather rush to the media.
All customers who are overcharged can separately file a written complaint at the service center and action will be taken to remedy the complaint. As a community, we do not bill communities. Since everyone has an account and a bill, we bill individual clients,” he said.