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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Drama as retired PHCN director asks DisCo to disconnect house over crazy billing

A retired official of the defunct the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Sakiru Onafeko, has called for a “permanent disconnection” of power supply to his three-bedroom apartment on Molipa Estate in the Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State.

Onafeko, who was the PHCN Assistant Director, Rural Electrification, Ogun State, before his retirement, lamented estimated billings given to him by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.

In a letter dated June 22, 2021, which the retiree addressed to the IBEDC Business Manager, Fidipote, Ijebu-Ode, requesting the disconnection of his apartment.

Onafeko told Punch Newspaper that he made the move out of frustration, adding that he lived alone and was paying between N4,000 and N6,000 since 2001 until the sudden hike in his electricity bill in June.

The retired electrical engineer said in June 2021, he was alarmed when he received a bill of over N9,000, and he decided to complain.

Onafeko was quoted as saying he was confronted with a lot of obstacles while trying to relay his complaint at the IBEDC Ibadan Garage Business Unit, Ijebu-Ode.

Onafeko, who claimed that he had never owed any bill, said he paid N5,000 out of the charges, adding that he was shocked when he was disconnected a few minutes after the payment.

“When I went to see the Ibadan Garage Business Unit Manager on my June bill, he said I shouldn’t bother, that it was a result of the mandate that they were given to generate over N90 millio. Should I now be the one to carry the burden?

“He asked me to make a photocopy of the electricity bill and return it to him. When I went back to his office, I was told he was not around. I asked the gateman to deliver the letter on my behalf, but he said he wasn’t asked to take any letter.

“When I went back there, they said he was in a meeting at Abeokuta. I paid N5,000 out of the bill. Before I could move from their office to my shop, which is about a kilometre away, someone called me that my power had been disconnected.

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“The IBEDC worker I spoke to over the phone said I was disconnected for not paying the full amount. I kept my cool.

“When I paid the balance, I took the letter (for permanent disconnection) there; the secretary refused to take it and asked me to support it with an affidavit.

“I went to the court, swore an affidavit and submitted the letter. I can’t afford their exorbitant bills again,” Onafeko said.

The IBEDC’s Media Relations Officer, Busolami Tunwase, promised to investigate the incident.

“Please send me the letter. I’ll call the Ijebu-Ode office to investigate the matter. IBEDC cannot bill any customer more than they are supposed to pay at any time or contrary to the NERC directive. There are procedures to solve these issues,” Tunwase said.

However, Onafeko ordeal is not different from what customes of Ikeja Electric (IE) are passing through as many people within their distribution area are groaning under huge crazy estimated bill.

Wale, whol lives in Arepo area of Ogun State had written a petition to complain against huge estimated bill send to his two bedroom flat.

According to him, in May IE sent an estimated billing of N73,000 in a month during a period power supply to the area was not as stable as it used to be.

Another consumer said since he applied for metering, the IE has consistedly be giving him estimated billin on both his present account and the new account open for the purpose of metering.

Sources said that Ikeja Electric was exploiting the fact that government order free distributions of metter to customers to make a kill.

By the time they brought the new meter which was meant for a vacant flat, the billion on each has skyrocketed to about N186,000, lamented another customers.

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