Electricity consumers in some communities in Ilasamaja, Mushin Local Government of Lagos State, have vowed to resist the exploitative tendencies of their service provider, Eko Electricity Distribution Plc (EKEDC).
They accused EKEDC of deliberately throwing them into darkness for their refusal to pay the outrageous estimated bills usually issued to them. The affected communities – Igbehin, Ifetedo, Ishokan and Ifesowapo – said they had been without electricity for three weeks, arguing that the action of the electricity company was just to force them to pay estimated bills.
At a recent meeting held under the aegis of Igbehin Community Development Association (ICDA), to deliberate on their plight, the community leaders said they had made several complaints to EKEDC, which has refused to address their plight.
Oladele Dasaolu, the ICDA chairman insisted that members of the community would not pay any estimated bill, and reiterated their demand for prepaid meters.
Explaining the plight of the affected communities, Kayode Ogunbola, general secretary of the association said: “EKEDC gives us estimated bills and we are against the billing system because they want us to pay for what we did not use. This cannot work for us in this community. We have been complaining about these outrageous bills for a long time but, they kept bringing it. We have tried all efforts to make them see reasons why we cannot pay the bills, but they refused to grant our request.” He said the electricity distribution company plunged them into darkness because of their unrelentless demand for prepaid meters as a precondition for payment of electricity bills.
On the steps taken to have EKEDC address their plight, the community members said complaint letters had been written and sent to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; House of Representatives; and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. They said they had earlier written to the EKEDC management and the regulating agency, all to no avail.
Irked by the seeming indifference of the electricity company to their plight, Gabriel Ojuma, a legal practitioner and resident of the community, said “This community needs prepaid meters, we have suffered enough and we are tired of the burden of paying estimated bills which we regard as extortion. It is the right of every Nigerian to agitate for what is right and we know that our right is to get prepaid meters.”
The community members had earlier staged a protest to some media houses to lament their plight.