The Nigerians Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kogi State Council has observed the unbridled attitude of the Abuja Electricity and Distribution Company (AEDC) in doling out outrageous monthly bills to customers especially in lokoja, the Kogi State Capital without a commensurate service rendered to the customers
In a statement by its Chairman, Mr. Adeiza Momohjimoh, and Secretary, Ademu Seidu Haruna, the Council noted that this attitude started between August – September, 2022 when there was a noticeable slight improvement on the electricity supply within lokoja metropolis which AEDC hurriedly latched on to increase the monthly bills from the usual ₦3,000- ₦4,000 per building to ₦6,000- ₦8,000
By October, AEDC in it’s usual attitude without putting into considerations the biting economic situation in the country and the ability of customers to pay again increased the bill to ₦11, 700.
The union said it’s killing for an average family to pay N15,000 electricity bill in a country where minimum wage is N30,000
Responding to the cry and barrage of complaints from members of the public,and in fulfilling our social responsibility mandate of being the Mirror and Watch dog of the society, members of the union decided to seek for enquiry with the organization as to why rash increase of the bill are being orchestrated without a corresponding service
To our utter dismay, no official of the AEDC in the state was willing to furnish us with information over this abysmal increase ,rather the monthly bills keep on increasing astronomically such that the January monthly bills rose to #14,700 while the latest February bill has also been jerked up to ₦15, 300
This is inspite of the fact that the electricity supply has dropped drastically between eight to ten hours a day to a miserable three to four hours a day and in most cases some areas in the state capital experience total outage for days or weeks without any explanation from the distribution company while the bills keep on running.
The union also observed that the AEDC flagrantly refused to make available the Pre Paid Metres to members of the public even when payments had been made but rather take delight in giving out a blanket monthly outrageous bills to it’s customers without even reading the metres
In the light of the above, the union is calling on the Kogi State House of Assembly and particularly Governor Yahaya Bello to immediately wade into this matter and call the management of AEDC to order as these heartless monthly increment may result to breakdown of law and order as the saying goes that a dog that is pushed to the wall has no alternative than to bark and bite
The current hardship of fuel scarcity, water scarcity, incessant electricity outage and the cash crunch being experienced by residents of the state should not be further compounded by AEDC propensity of making more money to the detriment of the customers without recourse for wearing a human face.