The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has been called out for allegedly installing a supposed new electricity meter with an outstanding debt of N120,000.
Tenants of the affected building inside EFAB Estate in Jabi, Abuja, expressed their anger. On Friday January 9, AEDC officials went to their residence on Road 15 to fix the meter but did not activate.
The next day, the landlord, Mr A. A. (Full name withheld) and tenants called the company to report the matter. AEDC replied they had closed for the day and could only resolve the issue by Monday. One of the occupants, Victoria, recalled that her apartment did not have electricity from that Friday till Monday.
She further explained: “After it was eventually activated, we discovered it was not the meter paid for. I found out after using BuyPower (WhatsApp option) to purchase N5,000 light.
“Confused, I checked the transaction details and saw an outstanding of N119,915.83k. I kept wondering how a new meter could have such a debit balance. Also, the address was not ours.
“I then informed the landlord who confirmed the meter name, Mr. N. A. J. (Full name withheld) was not what he used when he applied and paid for the energy device.
“We called AEDC again on Monday. One Ibrahim of the Customer Care Unit assured it would be rectified. As I speak almost one week later, a wrong meter with N119,915.83k after deduction of my N5,000 has not been replaced.”
The aggrieved citizens sent the screenshot of details of the “new meter” which shows the name, address (not the landlord’s or residence), and unsettled bill.
They described the situation as the “height of irresponsibility”, lamenting their almost one week of frustration.
“If Nigeria was a country where justice is timely dispensed and adequate compensation granted, many public and private institutions would be bankrupt by now”, another tenant fumed.
Oyebode Fadipe, AEDC Corporate Communications General Manager, did not take calls or reply text enquiries at press time. Other phone numbers dialed were either dropped or didn’t go through.
Michael Faloseyi, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) spokesman, also did not pick calls.
A representative of NERC Abuja Forum Office, on condition of anonymity, advised that the complainants “draft a notification to AEDC so that it can be corrected”. But this has been done.
Asked why a new meter was delivered with N120,000 debt, she said: “This means it’s an old meter. Every new meter has about 1,000 to 2,000 units. If they carried that particular meter from another place to your place, the debt will be there. New meters don’t carry debt.
SURGENIG NEWS NIGERIA reports that there have been similar complaints by customers in Abuja and other parts of the country.