The Nigerians Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kogi council, has decried the outrageous electricity bills by the Abuja Electricity and Distribution Company (AEDC) to the residents of the state without commensurate supply.
The council made the call in a statement jointly signed by Kogi its Chairman, Adeiza Jimoh; and Secretary, Ademu Haruna, in Lokoja on Tuesday.
The council observed with concern the unbridled attitude of AEDC in dishing out outrageous monthly bills to customers, especially in Lokoja, without a commensurate service.
The Council noted that this attitude started between August and September, 2022, when there was a noticeable slight improvement on the electricity supply within Lokoja metropolis.
According to NUJ, the AEDC hurriedly latched on to increase the monthly bills from the usual N3,000- N4,000 per building to N6,000- N8,000.
”By October, AEDC in its 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 N11, 700.
”It is 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, the union decided to seek clarification from AEDC on the 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 increasing astronomically.
”The January bill rose to N14,700, while the latest February bill has also been jerked up to N15, 300.
”This is in spite of the fact that the electricity supply has dropped drastically between eight to 10 hours to a miserable three to four hours per day,” the council said.
The NUJ stressed that in most cases some areas in the state capital experienced total outage for days or weeks without any explanation from the distribution company, while the bills kept 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 monthly outrageous estimated bills to its customers.
”In the light of the above, the union is calling on the Kogi State House of Assembly and particularly Gov. Yahaya Bello to immediately wade into this matter and call the management of AEDC to order.
”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 union said.
The council stressed that the current hardship of fuel and water scarcity, incessant electricity outage and the cash crunch being experienced by residents 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. (NAN)