Recently, Lagos , Nigeria’s econonmic nerve center has witnessed an increase in the number of communities, groups, organisations and even individuals that have protested against the poor services rendered by the different electricity destribution companies operating in the state.
Although there are various complains being made by some aggrieved users of electricity in Lagos, the common one is hike in electricity bills.
Some also complained about the difficulty in getting prepaid meters which they believed would solve the problem of paying so much for power through estimated billing popularly referred to as “crazy bill”.
It is however, ironical to note that those using prepaid meter are not comfortable with the high charges they claim the prepaid system attracts and as such would prefer to go back to the old billing system.
Inhabitants in city who are popularly called “Lagosians” were happy when the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission , NERC, announced the commencement of the second phase of the National Mass Metering Programme, in the first quarter of 2022.
As reported , the scheme is aimed at connecting more Nigerians to the grid and make electricity distribution more efficient.
However, while residents eagerly await the commencement of the scheme, there has been series of complaints and agitations in Lagos over the services of the electricity destribution companies in the state.
Commenting on the matter, a resident of Orile Coker council , Mr. Chuks Ben said that not only had electricity bill increased astronomically, power supply in his area had dropped for months now.
In Ikorodu, a resident who spoke to Radio Nigeria said there had been constant electricity supply in the area until recently when Power had become a scare commodity.
He however, appealed to relevant authorities to make it easier for the masses to get prepaid meters.
Another resident of Ikorodu, Mr. Orji Kanu said he had to abandon his prepaid meter sometime ago when he noticed that the charges had increased to more than eight thousand naira per month.
Mr. Kanu stressed that to get a prepaid meter in Lagos today was Herculean.
In the last two years, some parts of Sari Iganmu, Amukoko in Ifelodun Council and environs, electricity companies and resients have had series of disagreements over what they termed ”crazy bill”.
It was gathered that Landlords and tenants had resolved that they would be paying six hundred naira per room regardless the amount they are billed every month.
A resident of Amukoko said that although her bill as at January was more than five hundred thousand naira, she would continue to pay as the Landlords and residents agreed.
Only last month, eleven Community Development Associations, CDAs, in the state threatened a showdown with the Ikeja Electric Distribution company over estimated bills , which they described as not just exorbitant but harmful.
The CDAs had vowed to take legal action against the electricity distribution company if the bills were not reduced before the end of last year.
According to some of the residents, all efforts to get prepaid meters by the more than five million unmetered residents in the affected Community have proved abortive.
In a related development, residents protested against what they called ‘”paying high” for darkness.
Some Lagos residents while commenting on the power problem as it concern them said while many businesses are shutting down daily due to epileptic power supply, paying exorbitantly on electricity was impoverishing a lot of them.
Some have accused the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC,of failing to enforce the order on the scrapping of estimated billing system in the Nigeria Electricity Supply industry.
As at the time of filling in this report, we could get the reaction of NERC and other electric companies in the state to some of the allegations raised by Lagos residents.