EEDC customers in Awka protest epileptic power supply, excessive tariff

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 20 September 2014 | 4,089 times

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The Enugu Electricity Development Company (EEDC) office in Awka, Anambra State capital, was earlier this week besieged by hundreds of customers protesting the incessant epileptic power supply and the excessive tariff they pay on monthly basis.

The protesters, comprising mainly business people who operate along the popular Zik’s Avenue, Awka, complained that their businesses are collapsing because of poor power supply.

Speaking to journalists on behalf of the protesters, Vice Chairman of Zik’s Avenue Business Owners Association, Nze Ik Okafor, lamented that EEDC, in addition to poor power supply, subjected them to excessive tariff through estimated bills and fixed charges. He said there was a period some parts of the area did not have electricity for about seven months, yet those operating businesses in the affected areas were issued with bills to pay.

Okafor disclosed that they decided to launch a public protest because some officials of the company came to disconnect the electric facilities in their area. He vowed that they would not allow them to do so.

Okafor called on EEDC management to restore electricity in their area and provide them with pre-paid meters so that they would be paying only for the electricity they consume.

In a chat with News Express, one of the protesters, who gave his name as Mr. Chuka Chidebelu, said that he was without power supply for a period of seven months, from November last year, but EEDC later told him to pay N5,000 fixed charge otherwise they would disconnect the electricity facility in his area. He regretted that his explanations and pleas fell on deaf ears.

Another aggrieved EEDC customer, Mr. Bonvera Ndubuisi, expressed disappointment over the manner the entire staff of the company ignored their protests. He vowed that they would resist any attempt by the company’s workers to disconnect electricity facilities in their area.

Efforts made to get EEDC’s reaction proved abortive. Officials of the company approached declined making any comment, saying that they were not allowed to talk to the press except the Public Relations Manager, whose office, they said, is located in Onitsha, the state’s commercial nerve centre. Effeort to reach the PRO through phone calls yielded no fruits.

•Photo, courtesy of The Eagle Online, shows protesting electricity consumers elsewhere in Nigeria.

Source: News Express

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