Electricity: Bauchi protests arbitrary charges, demand installation of prepaid meters

Posted by News Express | 1 October 2015 | 2,560 times

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Some electricity consumers in Bauchi, on Wednesday, gathered at the Jos Electricity Distribution (JEDC) Plc, Yelwa business office in Bauchi metropolis, to protest arbitrary electricity charges by the company.

The protesters said instead of the company concentrating its effort on providing customers with pre-paid meters, it was busy dishing out arbitrarily fixed charges and campaigning for additional hike in electricity tariff.

According to them, the only way of ensuring that customers are not ‘ripped off,’ is to install prepaid meters that will ensure that they (customers) pay for their actual consumption.

Alhaji Nasiru Lame, a resident of Fadaman Mada, noted that the continued issuance of exorbitant bills as ‘fixed charges’ was unacceptable.

He said that consumers had several times, demanded for the prepaid meters, only for the company to insist that the meters were not available.

He said he was billed more than N20,000.00 monthly, without any extra services, or explanation for the charge.

According to him, electricity officials prepare bills without actually knowing the kilowatts of electricity consumed by a consumer.

Another consumer in Bauchi, Malam Ado Hazzad, lamented that the situation was becoming too unbearable.

He said: “It’s like somebody just looks at how ‘big’ or ‘good-looking’ your house is, and arbitrarily fixes the bill. It is grossly unfair. Why are the distribution companies reluctant to provide prepaid meters, even when some customers have paid for such meters?”

Also speaking, Mallam Mohammed Chinade, a resident of GRA, said that his bills had been fluctuating from N7,00.000, to N17,000.

He said that despite the ‘arbitrariness in the pegging’ of the monthly bills, he had settled all, but later complained to the business office.

“After all the necessary complaints and acceptance of mistakes from the JED, I got a bill of N17,000 again in August,” he said.

Chinade said that he had paid for a prepaid meter four years ago, but had not been issued same up till now.

Also speaking, a traditional title holder with the Bauchi Emirate Council, Dr. Baba Mohammad, said that he had also visited JED over similar issue, but the situation did not change.

Mohammed, who holds the title of ‘Madakin Bauchi,’ called on JED, to do proper billing of customers, to ensure fairness.

All efforts by newsmen who visited the Bauchi State Business office of JEDC, to get the reaction of the management, proved abortive. (NAN)

•Photo shows prepaid meters.


Source: News Express

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