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10.11.2021 Featured How IKEDC Used Prepaid Meter to Swindle Customer in Lagos

Published 10th Nov, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

Folarin Ademosu, a resident of Abioye Street in the Ifako area of Lagos, has accused the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) of overbilling him.

Until April this year, Ademosu who moved into his current apartment in January 2019, had no prepaid meter. According to him, he was receiving bills that were far above the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)’s billing limit for band ‘C’ user group to which he belongs.

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“I sent several e-mails to IKEDC, citing the alarming difference in the outrageous bills issued and what was recommended by the commission based on the multi-year tariff orders then, but my complaints yielded nothing,” Ademosu told FIJ.

OUTRAGEOUS BILL DESPITE POWER OUTAGE

According to Ademosu, the distribution transformer serving four streets in his neighbourhood developed a fault in November 2020, forcing IKEDC to take it away for repairs.

He also said that the power cut lasted four months, from November 2020 to mid-February 2021 when the power distribution company finally returned the transformer to the neighbourhood and subsequently fixed it.

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“In December 2020, despite the non-supply, IKEDC issued unmetered customers in the largely poor neighbourhood a bill of N85,000 each, and some, higher. I was one of those who received the bill,” he said.

The customer also added that the bill came with a claim that he consumed 2,101 kilowatts of energy at a time the neighbourhood transformer was faulty and there was no power supply for four months.

DEDUCTION FROM PREPAID UNITS

“The bill made me realise, strangely though, that IKEDC could brazenly claim a customer consumed thousands of kilowatts of energy without being supplied electricity. This must be sorcery,” said Ademosu to FIJ.

In April 2021, the energy company installed a prepaid meter at Ademosu’s residence.

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“However, it would later be clear to me that the prepaid meter installation was a ploy by IKEDC to make me pay the previous crazy bills that were given me,” the customer complained.

Ademosu said since then, IKEDC had been persistently taking half the amount of every energy purchase he made.

TARIFF HIKE

“Also in March, IKEDC informed me that it had adjusted the bill and payable tariff was now N65,000. Please note, I had paid N10,000 each in November and December 2020 to clear my outstanding arrears of N14,000,” the customer pointed out.

He said the same company gave him an increased balance of N77,746.40 as arrears to be cleared in August.

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Ademosu subsequently decided to write Olubunmi Ayanga and Felix Ofolue, the Business Unit and Public Affairs Managers of the company, but they did not respond to his letter.

FIJ also emailed the managers, but they did not respond.

Published 10th Nov, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

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