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EFCC should probe EEDC … Over estimated bills – Party stalwart

The estimated billing system of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on electricity consumers in Imo State is the height of corruption which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should look into without delay.
The Imo State Chairman of All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Chief C. Ugo, made this assertion during an interaction with newsmen in Owerri Imo State.
Chief Ugo said  that it is only in a “Banana Environment” that people would be given estimated electricity bill of between N5000 to N15,000 monthly, for power not consumed and people are forced to pay for it and nothing is done by government or the regulators.
Chief Ugo  said he is worried over this unfortunate development and  called on the relevant authorities to critically look at the situation and query EEDC for defrauding its customers.
He said, “the most worrisome of the fraud perpetrated by the EEDC is that every three months there must be reports of robbers stealing armored cables and the neighborhood will contribute between N300,000 to N400,000 to replace it. If it is not armored cable, it will be that water entered the transformer and at every point it will be the neighborhood that will be made to pay for the repairs or replacement of the damages. The EEDC will come up with the estimated bills for the period of power outage. Imolites are really facing this hardship and fraud but who will come to their rescue? Nobody, even the state government is not willing to help”.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the body empowered to meet the yearnings of Nigerians for stable, adequate and safe electricity supply, has released to the public, what it termed the rights of every electricity consumer, as follows:
1. All new electricity connections must be done strictly on the basis of metering before connection. That is, no new customer should be connected without meter first being installed.
2. A customer who elects to procure meter under the Credited Advance Payment for Metering (CAPMI) Scheme must be metered within 60 days, after which the customer will neither be billed nor disconnected by the electricity distribution company.
3. It is the customer’s right to transparent electricity billing. Unmetered customers should be issued with electricity bills strictly based on NERC’s estimated billing methodology.
4. It is the customer’s right to be notified in writing ahead of disconnection of electricity service by the electricity distribution company serving the customer in line with NERC’s guidleines.
5. It is the customer’s right to prompt investigation of complaints arising from the customer’s electricity service disruption
6. It is not the responsibility of electricity customer or community to buy, replace or repair electricity transformers, poles and related equipment used in supply of electricity.
7. It is the customer’s right to contest any electricity bill. Any unmetered customer who is disputing his or her estimated bill has the right not to pay the disputed bill, but pay only the last undisputed bill as the contested bill go through the dispute resolution process of NERC.
8. All complaints on your electricity supply and other billing issues are to be sent to your nearest business unit of the electricity company serving your premises.
Aggrieved consumers whose complaints were not satisfactorily addressed, were, in the statement signed by Dr.Anthony Akah, Ag. CEO/Chairman of NERC, advised to forward such complaints to the NERC Forum Office within the coverage area of their electricity distribution company. Customers also have the right to appeal the decision of the forum at the NERC headquarters in Abuja.
Consumers were asked to log into: www.nercng.org for more details or contact NERC zonal offices listed thus:
08164201445 Joseph John southwest;
08130363581 Tony Ray Ene South South;
08062219714 Ekeh Samuel Chukwuemeka Southeast;
07061117416 Hassan GWANDU north west;
07061097132 Mohammed Umar Fufore North East;
07036948408 Friday Sule North Central.
The statement, however, reminded consumers of the obligation to pay their valid electric bills, avoid meter by-pass or stealing of electricity and protect power infrastructure from being vandalized.

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