By Maudlyn Eduke
There are concerns among most Nigerians that the monthly bills charged by electricity distribution companies in the country, does not reflect their consumption.
According to most people who spoke to Niger Delta Connect, the inconsistent and outrageous bills are deliberate attempt to further impoverish them by the companies.
Popular On Air Personality, Chinedu Ani Emmanuel, alias Nedu on Thursday cried out after being served an estimated electricity bill of N1.4 million.
The media personality who called out the Eko Electricity Distribution Company over the bill, stated that he doesn’t have a factory in his house that will make the company serve him such bill.
Nedu wrote on his social media handles: “@ekedc you people should kuku come and kill me. Abeg na factory I get for my house? Like WTHNa house rent be this abi na light bill?”
In Bayelsa State the situation is not different as many residents of the state have described as unfair the monthly bills they get from the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC).
Some of them said with the current situation, they would rather prefer to have a prepaid meter instead of paying for what they said is an ‘assumed amount’ by the company.
Mr. Justin Nestor, a resident of Ovom, Yenagoa, lamented that the bills given to him are meant for another part of the city and not where he actually lives.
He said: “PHEDC gave me a total bill of #70,592.27 for the month of January 2021. Please I need clarification on the kind of calculation they did to arrive at this amount when we’re not even using meter in my area. Meanwhile the paper is showing IMIRINGI BAYELSA 1. Please is Ovom part of IMIRINGI”?
Another resident, Diseye Waris said she was paying bills for the months preceding when she rented her apartment.
She said: “I moved in mid October but the bill they give me always reflects July, August and September. I don’t understand it”.
Efforts to get Mr. John Onyi, the Manager Corporate Communications of PHEDC to comment on the issue was not successful as at the time of this report.
However, a staff of the company who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorized to speak, said the company does not charge for what is not being used by their customers as they have employed the service reflective tariff.
According to him, the bills charged depends on the customer load of appliances in a building, and not by any other discretion.
“We don’t give people what they don’t consume. Don’t forget that its an automated system. What most people forget is that when you have any electrical appliance in your house that is not off, your meter is reading.
“Although, people who are complaining may have been paying more and receiving less amount of power, that blane is not caused by us but the local power committee in their respective areas”.
He added that the company does not give a bill to the wrong address, explaining that what people see as the wrong address is the line of feeder their connecting line is on, informing that there are six feeders in the state and it always reflects on the bill.
The PHEDC recently introduced a new tariff plan that puts customers that use electricity up to 20 hours a day at 55.16 naira per unit, those that use power at least 16 hours a day at 54.79 naira per unit, 12 hours a day at 51.69 naira per unit, 8 and 4 hours a day at 30.23 naira per unit.