Reporter : UCHE NDEKE
Some electricity consumers in Awka, Anambra State have called on the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) not to sabotage efforts of the Federal Government to ensure that small and medium scale industries contribute their quota in the country’s economic development.
According to them, the outrageous bills from the company in the name of estimated bill is no doubt a ploy to kill their businesses and render them unemployed.
In an interview with Radio Nigeria in Awka, the consumers are call on Federal Government to prevail on the electricity company to urgently provide prepaid meters to all its customers or allow them pay within their reach.
Electricity no doubt is the live wire that sustains and encourages small and medium scale industries and businesses across the globe.
This is because when there is a stable power supply, operators of the businesses will grow and willingly pay their bills, which in turn increases the revenue base of power companies.
However despite the directives by the Federal Government to distribution companies to provide prepaid meters to Nigerians, some electricity consumers in Anambra State say they are yet to receive the meters despite several applications.
According to one of the respondents, Mr. Chidi Umezinwa, under the estimation billing system, his one room business shop at Aroma, Awka, costs him thirty-three thousand naira monthly.
Mr. Umezinwa expressed regret that despite rigorouus processes he went through while applying for a prepaid meter, the Enuugu Electricity Distribution Company was yet to provide him with one.
Another consumer, Mrs. Sharon Boniface, who resides in Aguoye Layout, Awka, said she got a bill of sixty-eight thousand naira for a two month period in a one bedroom flat that had a refrigerator as the main electrical appliance.
A shop owner at Unizik temporary site junction, Mrs. Amaka Okonkwo, narrated that EEDC had been exploiting them while refusing to respect federal government directives on pre-paid meter provision.
According to her, she gets an estimation billing of thirty-two thousand naira per month despite running generator on daily basis to sustain her business.
For his part, another electricity consumer, Mr. Richard Okafor, said he had been paying thirty-three thousand naira per month despite having applied twice for the prepaid meter without success.
When contacted, the Head of Communications EEDC, Mr. Emeka Eze, said electricity estimation billings depended on several factors, including hours of daily supply, class the customer belonged to and the recent increase in tariff.
On prepaid meter, Mr. Eze said EEDC had begun metering customers in Awka and Onitsha in line with the Federal Government directives.
He, however, appealed to those who were yet to get theirs to be patient as efforts were on to provide them with the smart meters.