As the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) commences sanctioning of electricity distribution companies for non provision of prepaid meters to maximum power consumers across the nation, residential customers in Port Harcourt have appealed for extention of the exercise to them.
Some customers, who spoke to our correspondent, Friday, said the effect of the non-availability of prepaid meters to them remains their major problem.
Mrs Christie Nwafor, a teacher said, “estimated billing has led to over billing by Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) and only prepaid meter can resolve it”.
According to Nwafor, “we are used to epileptic supply across the nation, but overbilling (via) estimated bills has worsened the situation”.
Also speaking, Chief Mike Nwokoshole frowned at the issue, stressing that any business transaction all over the world must have a yard stick to measure the commensurate services rendered with the cost.
But in the case of PHED and its crazy billing, it is a case of whether you like it or not, whatever the power distributors render to you as service, the same firm also fixed what it likes and you are bound to pay”, Nwokoshole said.
He appealed to NERC to come to the rescue of residential electricity consumers so that they only pay according to the value of services enjoyed.
But to Osila Peters, a technician, “it is a corporate fraud for an organization to hold its consumers to ransome.
“What we pay for is not only the epileptic supply but also for the darkness we suffer. This is not justifiable in any calculation and NERC has the responsibility to save Nigerians from the distribution companies”. Chimaobi Okeke, a businessman blamed the federal government who should call the distribution companies to question for the unfortunate situation.
“How can a responsible government allow a private company that is out to make profit to solely determine how it wishes to operate and also fix any price for the service?
“You see, public power supply in Nigeria is monopolistic by nature. It is important that the Federal Government should not allow the consumers to be at the mercy and discretion of the distribution company. Okeke explained that sometime, when there was no supply in his area for over two weeks, the bill for the month served his yard was exactly the same amount with pervious months when there were supply, adding that only prepaid meter could solve the situation.