From Emma Elekwa, Onitsha
Residents of Ezema/Ubulenu and Osita-Osili communities of Uke, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, have petitioned the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over the ‘strange and unnecessary outrageous estimated bills’ by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
They said the crazy bills were outside the method of estimated billing and prepaid billing approved by the commission.
The residents, predominantly retired old rural people, demanded an investigation of the ‘large scale estimated billing fraud and irregularities heaped on their area by the power company’.
Led by Chiefs Mmaduabuchi Anekwe and Okechukwu Anakwuo, the residents said their October 13 letter through their lawyer, C. H. Asiegbu, called on NERC to intervene since several correspondences to EEDC did not yield any result.
They expressed their readiness to use the courts to press home their case if they were not attended to or satisfied.
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Former Secretary-General of the Uke Development Union (UDU) Bon Onwubualiri said they were shocked that EEDC was charging very high tariff on residents of such remote rural village. He accused the firm of over-billing and disconnecting their supply, thereby throwing the area into darkness since June.
He said: “We appeal to NERC to investigate EEDC because the villagers are ready to go to court if not satisfied.”
But a Senior Manager of EEDC Jefry Nwainokpor blamed the communities ‘for not managing their energy consumption well’. He urged them to replace all incandescent bulbs with energy saving bulbs, and enjoined them to ensure their lights were switched on only at nights when needed.
“EEDC has not increased tariff; it is inconceivable for a transformer with 200 users to be paying N143,976,” he said.