By Okunade Adekunle, Lagos
Some residents of Mushin Local Government Area, have said they would not pay Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKDEC) if they fail to provide prepaid meters in all the houses in the council.
They also called on EKEDC not to charge more than N4,000 per house , saying that they would not pay any estimated bill that is more than the amount.
The residents made known their grievances through a communique issued at the end of a meeting between the residents and their representatives, Hon. Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla ( House of Representatives) and Hon. Olayiwola Olawale (Omititi).
The meeting which took place at Mushin Local Government Secretariat was to find amicable solution to the alleged extortions and harassments of residents of the area by EKEDC.
It was learnt that the meeting was to be a tripitite meeting involving the management of the electricity distribution company but that their representives came and absconded before the commencement of the stakeholders forum.
Speaking on behalf of the community, the Secretary of the Citizens Group, Mr Osinowo Adekunle, narrated their ordeals in the hands of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), saying that the electricity company disconnected the Daleko Market for about one year.
Adekunle explained that the electricity company went ahead to arrest youths who severally complained against the poor services by the electricity company.
He added ” The EKEDC came up with a prank by arresting two old man and woman accusing the duo of beating up officials of their company. They went to the home of Mr Muniru Lawal at 14, Yusuf Street, Papa Ajao. Baba and Mama are of age 78 and 76. The two old citizens were arrested and arraigned in the court and thereafter sent to Kirikiri prison for doing nothing. How can EKEDC claim the two old citizens beat up its official?”
Adekunle stated that the solution to the over billing was a distribution of prepaid meters in all the houses in the constituency, saying that if the electricity company fails to distribute prepaid meters in the constituency, the community would not be paying more than four thousand per building.
The Secretary however, reeled out the resolutions of the community which includes distribution of prepaid meters, cancellation of all accumulated bills in the community, reconnection of Daleko and Amu Plank Markets.
Also included in the resolutions are that there should not be any isolated areas in darkness rather all areas in the constituency should be disconnected and that police officers should not accompany EKEDC officials while embarking on their official duties.
He added that all their transformers should be attached to certificated meters and that the certificated meters must be read every month to determine the actual usage.
Also, speaking with journalists, the Executive Chairman of Mushin Local government, Hon. Emmanuel Bamgboye, disclosed that the local government had made efforts to resolve their challenges, saying that there was a time he led the residents on protest to the House of Assembly to express their dissatisfaction.
Bamgboye stated further that it was clear that the EKEDC finds it difficult to provide the services expected of them, stressing that the Minister of Power had promised the community the distribution of prepaid meters.
The facilitator of the Stakeholders Forum on Power Supply, Hon. Olayiwola Olawale (Omititi) who is representing Mushin constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly, said during his welcime address that “my office has received series of complaints and petitions from my constituents in respect of EKEDC and its officials bothering on issues of lack of adequate pre-paid metres, crazy and estimated billings.
“The objective of this interactive meeting is to provide a platform for stakeholders to deliberate on the challenges facing by consumers in Mushin and provide practical solutions at addressing the issue,” he said
“The myriad of issues are apparently compounded by lack of determined commitment by past administrations at the federal level such as inadequate funding, poor energy mix, fuel supply issues, flawed regulatory framework, commercial issue among others”, said the Lawmaker
“As you are all aware, the present APC federal government has been making frantic and consistent efforts at stabilising electricity supply and distribution. Without fear or favour, we can all attest to the fact that there had been steady progress in this regards despite its three years of being in power. I seize this opportunity to appeal for your continued understanding , patience, support and prayers”, said Olawale
” Accordingly, let me also use this platform to encourage stakeholders to vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates in the forthcoming general elections”, he concluded.
Also speaking, the House of Reps member, Hon. Ayinla popularly called BYA assured the residents that he would table the matter before the Lower Chamber in Abuja.
He also said the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has given assurance to look into it, saying however that the current electioneering was causing the delay.
The stakeholders forum on power supply was attended by Community Development Council (CDC) Executives in Mushin, some councillors and supervisory councillors in the local government.