Panic as EEDC disconnects defaulter customers
By Praise Necherem
The plan by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to disconnect its debtor-customers has sent panic waves across the south east, Orient Daily has gathered.
A statement by the head, corporate communications, Emeka Ezeh, said the exercise would last for the whole week and would be carried out simultaneously across the EEDC’s 18 district offices across the South East.
The statement read, “Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC wishes to inform her customers that with effect from Monday, 22nd February, 2021, the company will be embarking on mass disconnection of customers that have defaulted in payment of their electricity bills.
“This exercise, which will last for the whole week will be carried out simultaneously across EEDC’s 18 District Offices across the South East.
Some customers who spoke to this paper in Awka described the development as another shocker from the electricity supply firm. “We have been crying that the amount we are being charged for electricity bill is too much and, instead of the company to try to reduce it, they are now threatening to cut our lights. This is very unfair. Government should do something about this light issue, things are very hard now”, Janet, a customer who identifies herself as student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK), bemoaned.
A customer who based in Okpuno area of Awka, decried what he called poor service delivery and rise in bills. “The problem is that we are not having regular power supply in this area now, yet we are paying higher tariff than we used to. As far as I am concerned, this planned mass disconnection will not work. Instead, let them concentrate on issuing meters to those yet to get”, the customer who gave his name as Samuel said.
Another customer, who is based in Onitsha, dismissed the planned mass disconnection as another scam by the power distribution firm. “We are witnessing a big scam in this power sector. This is the only country where you supply virtually everything you need to have power supply and the company will come and claim it as their own. And on top of that they will impose high tariff on you and when you fail to pay, they come and disconnect you.” This is so unfair,” according to the respondent who identified himself simply as Okwudiri.
He adds: “you buy a pole, cable and meter. And sometimes contribute money to buy or replace transformer in your area. As soon as you have done all these, they automatically become their property. Then, the electricity distribution companies will, without meter reading, send outrageous estimated bills to you for power you never consumed. And if you dare raise a question against their barefaced robbery or refuse to pay, they will come and remove the cable you bought with your money as their property. Then you will be charged what they call ‘Re-connection fee to get your cable fixed back. And you will have to bribe their personnel to replace a melted fuse or you will remain perpetually in darkness and still pay the bill at the end of the month.”