The spate of ‘crazy bills’ and illegal disconnections imposed by officials of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in the country has developed a new twist as some communities in Lagos have fashioned out ways to address the menace.
Community leaders in Lagos for instance believe that healthy co-operation and mutual understanding between them and the power officials would help in addressing the incidence of crazy billing and indiscriminate disconnections.
In an interview, the Chairman, Festac Town Resident Association, FTRA Community 1, Dr. Alex Edo, said that there has been harmonious work relationship between the community and PHCN officials.
“We have been able to work harmoniously with PHCN here in Festac especially since 2012, when we discovered that we were not getting the results that we ought to have.
“Members of the executive have been able to make PHCN issues our top priority. The first step we took was to stop PHGN from issuing coded bills or crazy bills because we have worked with them since 2012, and we are seriously making sure that the huddles between PHCN and the consumers will not up,
“Also when a consumer is becoming cunning and doesn’t want to pay his/her bill, we also swing into action to ensure that they pay their bill
“And where PHCN of course is issuing any crazy bill we also complain to them to regularize it, reverse it. That has worked successfully for us since January 2013 till date I can tell you we have had less than five cases of crazy bills.
Edo blamed the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, the industry regulator for poor regulation, and criticised the failed process for free installations of pre-paid meters to customers across the country.
Recall that NERC amended its earlier directive that electricity consumers should not pay for pre-paid meters, citing g unforeseen circumstances for the sudden turn around.
NERC explained that customers who were yet to get the pre-paid meters, and who were still receiving ‘crazy estimated bills’ were at liberty to pay for meters to enable them control their electricity consumption.