Entrepreneurs, industrialists as well as private consumers of electricity in North Senatorial Zone of Enugu state, have cried out that Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) “is killing them” with outrageous bills. The people of the area who made their feelings known on Wednesday at the ongoing public hearing organized by the Enugu State House of Assembly over excessive bills, say that not only that they pay heavily, they rarely enjoy power supply which in most cases is epileptic and intermittent. Because of the exorbitant high cost of estimated billing, they lament that companies and industries are folding up as a result of the high cost of power and inadequate power supply.
Chairman, Udenu local government transitional, Chief Frank Ugwu, who is also an industrialist, pointed out that the inadequate power supply as the high tariff has forced many a company to close shop. Ugwu also pointed out that the bills keep sky-rocketing that companies find it difficult to cope and appealed that companies and individuals be metres to eschew the extortionate tendencies of the EEDC. Lamenting in like manner, another industrialist, Chief Omeke, MD, PK Oil, pointed out that his company was forced to shut down over high tariff yet the bills kept coming even now that they can no longer cope. Like the industrialists, community leaders that spoke at the public hearing painted a gory picture of how they are charged heavily without the commensurate power supply. A community leader from Nsukka Local Government, Mr. Onyekachi Ugwu lamented thus: “they give us light for one week and three weeks black out; they give us exorbitant bill. We want the House to save us from the hands of EEDC. If we are pushed to the wall, we may be forced to break the law.”
Mr. John Offor from Uvuru in Uzo-Uwani local government area pointed out that the bills they get is so much that they pay as much as N1.2 million monthly, whereas Chief Uwakwe Ezeja, transitional chairman of Igbo-Eze North local government area in his submission pointed out that EEDC is syphoning his people psychologically and economically with staggering bills and epileptic power supply. “They are syphoning our people psychologically and economically. They supply epileptic power but charge outrageously,” Ezeja said pointing out that the bulk metre they gave them runs so fast that within thirty minutes, N100, 000.00 is gone.
The transitional chairman of Igbo-Eze South, Dr. Fide Odo said that he has been pleading with the youth in the local government not to go on rampage over the EEDC high-handedness. He narrated that youth numbering about 100 storm the council headquarters and were spoiling for a showdown over the egregious billing but that he pleaded with them. In his own presentation, Mr. Ken Ike from Aku in Igbo-Etiti lamented that for 10 years his community was cut from the national grid because of high electricity bill. While asking that every hamlet in their area be provided with prepaid metres, Igwe Remi Nwodo from Udenu Local Government Area urged standard organization to make sure that the metres are of high quality and international standards.
In his speech at the occasion, member representing Nsukka East at the House of Assembly, Hon. Chinedu Nwamba alleged that some people are making threatening phone calls to the committee organizing the public hearing but said that they are not deterred as they are determined to protect their people from extortion.
Source: Daily Times