By Bola Bolawole
First to respond to last week’s “Is this the language PHCN understands?” was Mr. Adesegun Dosumu, Chairman, Oloye Estate CDA, Erunwen-Ikorodu, who narrated his estate’s tale of woes; thereafter, he forwarded to me a copy of their petition dated Wednesday, 15th April, 2020 to [email protected] electric.com and [email protected] I have yet to get an acknowledgment of my own petition to the same Soetan.
Sina Loremikan, veteran journalist and rights advocate, called to salute what he called the “NEPA War” and to enlist as a frontline General in the diligent prosecution of the war. Thank you! Mummy Ayo who, last year, had issues with the same IE, has volunteered to testify in court. E se pupo! There was also a torrent of revelations and disclosures.
Pat revealed a new scheme called Premium Plan: Residents enter into an agreement to pay many times over and above the usual charge and enjoy power supply 24/7. Once the agreement is signed, sealed and delivered, they enjoy uninterrupted power supply for a few weeks before the usual NEVER EXPECT POWER ALWAYS shenanigans set in again! Back to square one despite the huge bill they now incur. The unfortunate thing is, you cannot exit the plan until the tenure of the agreement elapses! Ogudu, Magodo and Omole are said to have fallen into this trap.
Reading my brother, Reuben Abati’s “Politics and Nigeria’s Electricity Sector”, there is no denying the fact that the problems bedevilling the power sector are multifarious and deep and did not just begin yesterday. The blame must be spread – even if not evenly – on the dining plate of all the stakeholders – gas suppliers, transmission, generation, and distribution companies; and government inclusive. The on-going blame game, which has necessitated the DISCOs dragging the FG to court, is, at the very best, diversionary and time-buying.
Consumers have had it full. They cannot pay for light and continue to receive darkness. Worse, they are fed up with the callousness and insensitivity of DISCO officials. While the DISCOs may count themselves unfortunate to be at the receiving end of a value-chain destined to fail ab initio; all the people are saying is: WE NEED LIGHT!
“I love to join you in the fight for stable electric supply in Nigeria but address the present DISCOs, not PHCN. Otherwise, they will frustrate your efforts in court on mere technicalities. – Kennedy Odeh, Benin City.
“Ka’re, omo oko ni e! Suru ti yio l’opin ni ojo kan ni. Office ni yio r’ehin akowe won!” – 0906 375 4096.
Thanks for leading this epic battle for class action against a demonic ATM called DISCOs. It is not your battle alone as you may have woken and emboldened others to key in and wrest not only the power companies but possibly our country from thieving politicians who sold our collective patrimony to themselves and have also brazenly arm-twisted us to pay for blackout. That we receive their bill under lockdown without electricity supply is the height of heartlessness and extreme provocation. It is only the grace of God that has restrained frustrated Nigerians from chasing them with cutlasses. My several complaints to EKO DISCO Marina headquarters only attracted a visit by their engineers who raised my hopes when they assessed the electronic/electrical appliances in my house and confirmed my bill must have been exceedingly padded – from N1800 monthly over several years to about N7000 presently – when my neighbours on pre-paid metre recharge with N2000. It is now over a year and nothing has changed; rather, the blackout deepens for weeks while the bill keeps increasing without qualms. There is the urgent need to jettison the entire NEPA/PHCN fraudulent concession, revoke the operating licences of all the DISCOs for we have had enough of their devious AJASCO from the pit of hell. They must equally be given diligent legal prosecution for all the consumers they have fleeced to get a refund. – Comrade Ben Uche Ndee, FESTAC Town, Lagos.
I salute your courage! You can now see why the life expectancy of Nigerians continues to shrink. About 15 years ago, I had a running battle with NEPA due to crazy bill. Even though the issue was resolved in my favour without an iota of apology, the estimated billing continued until pre-paid metre was introduced. I am not a pessimist but I think NEPA/PHCN or whatever name is given to the power authority is a cesspit of corruption and inefficiency. South Africa with a population of about 40million generates 40000 megawatts while Nigeria with a population of 200 million generates a maximum of 5000 megawatts. This is a systemic problem. The bulbs in my house have not blinked since yesterday. The generator has broken down due to over-use. –Phil Aragbada.
I never knew any other electricity distribution company can out-do BEDC in insensitivity and inefficiency! – Dele Morakinyo.
I had a similar experience when an estimated bill of N48,000 was brought for March 2020 that we only spent 14 days in the office (but) during the lockdown last April, N72,000 bill was dropped for us in the office! – Dr. Joe Okey-Odumakin.
I had an encounter with them on my pre-paid meter when they fraudulently took 100 units from what I paid for. I engaged them tirelessly at their Ponle office. It was a long-drawn engagement but I got my 100 units back. Good customers are grouped with the bad ones. It is a pity that the electricity service providers deliberately refuse to do something about this because it is an avenue to fleece the people. Can we start to obtain signatures in their millions so as to call their bluff? If they cannot provide service, they should quit the stage! – Pastor Jube Olawole.
Obasanjo spent a lot of money on PHCN when he was in office but corruption truncated his efforts. I was one of the contractors who got contract papers from Abuja to supply items to the NEPA or PHCN office at Alasia, Oshodi in Lagos but if you were to supply 100 tons of an item, some of the corrupt officials there at the time might ask you to supply only 10 tons and the value of the remaining 90 tons was shared. I can tell you that over 90 percent of the contractors I knew complied. – Anonymous.
Vintage Nigeria! Petty tyrants all over! – Oloye Adeniji.
PHCN! One needs to have a strong voice to get things done in Nigeria. – Abimbola Dosu.
You kept me glued! I read till the end! I go with you here – the battle has just begun! – Ayo Arowojolu.
I believe you must be dealing with Ikeja Disco… For this struggle, you will have many followers, including myself. We need to initiate many of these and use the court system to hold people to account. – Dr. Femi Badejo
I think they more than deserve the heat! Those people no dey hear word! – Pastor Denis.
It is from ECN to NEPA to PHCN and, finally, to distribution companies. They deserve the drastic measures you are embarking upon. – Olumide Lawal.
God will be your strength in this battle and war! – Yanju Alabi.
Same thing I did to them on my street in Agege (Markaz area) because I did not seem to understand why they punish innocent people for the offence of others. They will switch off from the transformer, claiming some people were in debt. I said, disconnect the debtors. They said, the debtors would reconnect again. I said, then, you don’t know your job! – Hadja Sekina Lawal.
Yes, the battle has just begun! You spoke the mind of Nigerians. – Bode Agbede.
You have done a good job! Why are Nigerians tolerating nonsense? The inertia of Nigerians bothers me. Why the suffering and smiling? Just out of curiosity: Is there a contract between the power companies and the consumers at all? If there is, how come people are not enforcing the terms of the contract? Besides, is there any consumer protection law in Nigeria? If there is none, it is high time the National Assembly came up with one. The power companies have taken the masses for a wicked ride for too long. – Triumphant Oghre, UK.
Some searing fireworks from you there! I half-guessed you were intense and deliberate! – Prof. Kukoyi.
Let me first sympathise with you for the untold hardship and pains you and your household were subjected to. It is in their character! Make no mistake about it; there won’t be any dramatic change after all! Ours is an unfortunate country whose leadership over the years has been unresponsive and irresponsible. No other country could be more hapless and helpless all at the same time. Until Nigeria gets reasonable leadership, the story will definitely remain the same. Barr. Idowu Lanre.
May be you need to join us here (in the United States)! I have never experienced two minutes of electricity failure for almost 23 years. – Akin Akinsola.
They have become a monster that cannot be curbed. Their impunity shows in their display of high-handedness and uncaring disposition. – Pa Ezekiel Odeleye.
They are just too wicked! Like you said, the battle has just begun! – Revd. Ajiboye.
Mr Bolawole, a former Editor of Punch, can be reached at [email protected] 0807 552 5533
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