IKEDC Estimated Billing Crippling MSMEs

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Sir, I wish to share my experience with the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), which needs to be addressed urgently to help small businesses survive, especially in Agodo Alara area of Ikorodu, Lagos State.

I run a micro ice block production enterprise in Agodo Alara, Ikorodo but the IKEDC power bills invoiced to my small business in the last three years have been alarming. The problem started about three years ago when I was charged over N100,000 in one month. I just have a handful of machines to produce ice block and a few workers who make a living from the mini factory, and the new bill was a total shock because the business could not sustain such. So I invited the IKEDC officials to assess the premises and the business operations. Specifically, one Godwin from IKEDC Odogunyan business office came with me for the inspection and after assessing the place, assured that there would be a reduction from the following month’s billing. It’s unfortunate that rather than reduce, the bill kept increasing and as at today, the ‘estimated’ bill has increased to over N800,000.

Why I know the estimated bill is inaccurate is that my machines have reduced significantly in the last two years due to wear and tear, yet the IKEDC power charges keep skyrocketing. I have tried all within my power to get the prepaid meter, including sending letters of complaint and visiting the IKEDC head office but my efforts have been in vain. The IKEDC officials claim that they do not have prepaid meters.

The story is similar to other small businesses in the area. I, therefore, plead that you publish this story and perhaps, the IKEDC and the Ministry of Power can come to our rescue.

Permit me to note that many countries that have pulled out of economic recession allude to the role of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) and the manufacturing sector in their successful comeback. They share stories of how the ingenuity of small businesses and individuals improved productivity, created employment and wealth which quickly turned around the economic fortunes of many communities for the better. But here in Nigeria, specifically in Agodo Alara, Odogunyan, Ikorodu in Lagos State, the IKEDC seems to rather target micro and small businesses for ‘the kill’. Every month, they invoice our small businesses with outrageous estimated bills which do not commensurate with the size of our operations, supply nor actual consumption. IKEDC, please provide us with prepaid meters in Agodo Alara, Ikorodu or review your estimated bills in line with the reality of our operations.

Source: IWIN

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