Getting access to reasonable supply of electricity by PHCN is getting worse by the day. Some parts of Lekki and the Mainland, have not had more than one hours supply in total in the last few weeks.
A client who lives on a small estate, got so fed up of their monthly PHCN bills steadily increasing up to N50, 000.00 per month when they hardly had any electricity, he took the meter readings, calculated the number of units used in the last six months and sent off a detailed complaint letter by courier to the PHCN (Eko Distribution Company) local and head office managers. The residents were spending hundreds of thousands to fuel their generators, just to have some reasonable quality of life, yet were being hit with astronomically over inflated PHCN bills that did not reflect their supply and meter readings. They had fought so hard to get the meters installed and now the meters were in, the readings were being ignored?
Everyone waited to see what the outcome of the complaint would be. What happened next was that a few weeks later some officials from the PHCN office turned up in a van and with ladders, and proceeded to disconnect the supply to the estate! When they were challenged by some of the residents, they were told to come to the local office to see the “oga”. No one on the estate did anything, as they were prepared to sit this out. A week later amended bills were brought and the electricity reconnected! The bills still did not reflect the meter readings but had been substantially reduced. You would have thought that would have been a partially satisfactory outcome to the story, but no! The next month the bills arrived and had been overinflated again. The residents had not had light for the month in which the bills were provided for, neither had their meters been read. My client sent off another letter complaining about this, but nothing has been heard from it. A few days ago, their electricity supply was cut off again. An official turned up again to say they should come and pay “something” so that they can “enjoy some light” Maybe this was said as a joke, but maybe not. Who really knows what goes on in these offices?
My client is in the legal profession and is prepared to take this to its logical conclusion; the residents are behind him and are prepared to go without power supply until the matter is resolved. They have had enough! I for one am eager to see what comes of this as no responses have been received to the letters, although from the actions carried out, one can only guess that the letters are lying on someone’s desk causing some irritation.
The country has been promised increased megawatts of power every other day for the last ten years or more. In the last few years this was stepped up and went out to privatisation. We are urged to be patient, yet it seems the power supply gets worse. Apart from a couple of years ago when a former minister of power was in power! And we could obviously see some improvements, he was thereafter relieved of his position and the power supply immediately dropped again. We are yet to see the benefits of the current privatisation initiative.
We must however continue to rely on our generators to power our homes and businesses and hope that one fine day, we will see stable supply. Interestingly, it is reported that Nigeria is the largest importer and user of generator sets in the world!