For two consecutive months, electricity consumers in Lagos have been lamenting over high electricity bills which they described as outrageous.
Most of the residents had complained in April that despite being in a lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the month, the Electricity Distribution Company still went ahead to give them “outrageous” bills without commensurate electricity supply.
However, the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) denied giving out crazy bills, insisting that residents did not enjoy anything less than 15 hours of daily supply during the lockdown.
Many residents who spoke to Daily Trust said the electricity bill has virtually tripped in recent times.
A resident of Arigidi close Ikeja, Mr. Abiodun Salaudeen disclosed that Ikeja Electric billed his house about N12,000 for the month of April, which he said was exorbitant.
According to him, they have made several attempts to get pre-paid metre so that the issues of bringing high estimated bill can be brought to an end but to no avail.
But despite the many complaints, the residents say the subsequent bill was even more exorbitant.
A resident of Bashiru Street in Ojodu Ikeja who pleaded not to be named said all efforts to protest to the electricity firm had not yielded any positive outcome.
“The bill we got for the month of May was even more. For instance, in my compound, we used to pay 13,000 monthly, all of a sudden it rose to N18,000, N22,000 and in April, they gave us an estimated Bill of N32,000.
“We lodged a complaint but what we got was a threat to disconnect our light if we failed to pay up. As if that was not enough, the May Bill came and we saw N35,000,” the resident lamented.
“The bill is killing, last year they collected N11, 000 from my landlord at Oke-Odo to give him additional bill against the former two bills. Now they brought N27.000,” said another resident of Oke-Odo in Ile Epo area of Lagos.
A resident of Bale Adeyemo Street, in Ajeromi Local Government, Ajegunle told newsmen that the estimated bill charged four apartments in his house rose from over N8,000 to over N11,000 since April this year.
Taiwo Makanjuola, who resides in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos said, though the Federal Government had in the past warned DISCOs from issuing estimated bills to electricity consumers, instead of complying with the directive, DISCOs seem now to be more determined to indulge in the act.
“We were given N11,000 bill last two months. Last month it jumped to N38,000 l. We don’t know what to expect this month.
“If they can bill us this way it then mean that factories are paying through their nose” he added.
A resident of Ikorodu, Mr Abiola Adeshina lamented that the bill in his Ojokoro residence has become high. He noted that earlier, the monthly bill was between N8,000 to N9,000 and it has increased to N14,000 and N15,000 in the April and May bills respectively.
He said the increase in tariff has led to the increase in electricity bills.
The father of three also said the electricity bill in his office located at Isawo road, also in Ikorodu, has become high. He however did not mention the previous and new bill paid at the office.
Baale of Ojodu Community, Chief Najimdeen Aro had in a chat with newsmen said he had been inundated with complaints of crazy bills for the month of April alone.
“We are taking it up as a community to reach out to the distribution company. Some people who used to pay N13,000 said their bill for April was 20,000. Those who paid N15,000 in previous month are now being asked to pay N30,000 and so on.”
When contacted, the spokesman of Ikeja Electric, Mr. Felix Ofulue, said during the lockdown the company sent out message to make electricity available optimally, saying the light enjoyed during the period of the lockdown was much more than the month before.
“Across our network, we did our best to give 15 hours supply on a daily basis. So they should not expect the rate to be the same,” he said.
Ofulue however advised consumers with genuine complaints to go through the official channels of lodging complaints, assuring that such complaints would be investigated.