Ogun Communities Petition IKEDC Over Tariff Increment - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ogun Communities Petition IKEDC Over Tariff Increment


Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji
LAGOS - Two communities in Ogun State comprising Arepo and Isheri located along Lagos-Ibadan Express way in Obafemi-Owode Local area of the State have petitioned the Ikeja Electric over alleged exploitative and ridiculous estimated billing by the establishment.

The Arepo Central Community Development Association (ACCDA) and Isheri Estates Community Residents Association of Lagos and Ogun (ISECOM) representing the residents of Arepo and Isheri/OPIC, in the petition dated June 28, 2020 also alleged that, the electricity management has denied them opportunity of installing metres in their various homes.

The over 80,000 residents in the petition jointly signed by their executives which include: Kenny Adeyemo, Jide Oke, Abiola Abioye and Dr Afolabi Fasoranti lamented that in these communities large number of their houses are not metered due to non-challance of the electricity company.

"In these communities are a lot of our members who up till now are not metered by management of Ikeja Electric in a relationship with such residents received payments based on a very exploitative and highly ridiculous Estimated Billing regime on a monthly basis despite epileptic service.

"However, since the commencement of these legal relationships with the two communities of Arepo and Isheri/OPIC, it has been one breach, agony, disappointment, unpleasant and unpalatable experience after the other, despite the fact that these communities have not breached any of the conditions as provided for in the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act of 2005.

The residents said in the last one year, the two communities have been inundated, bombarded and harassed with several text messages from Ikeja Electric Customer Care Center that the Akute feeder which provides the communities with electricity, is always faulty with persistent pleas that such fault would be rectified immediately.

"Despite several letters from us and even meetings held with you, the last being in February this year, your management has unfortunately neglected or failed outrightly to rectify or overhaul this faulty feeder in Akute’, the letter emphasised.

"The result of this breach is that, it takes days sometimes before faults are rectified, therefore putting all the people in these communities into perpetual darkness and untold, unwarranted and undeserved psychological trauma as a result of lack of electricity. This is apart from non-upgrading or replacement of obsolete transformers and other infrastructures in the communities which have been a source of regular concern.

"On account of this inadequacy by management of Ikeja Electric, the two communities have been put on perpetual one day on-one day off supply arrangement, but quite pathetically, Ikeja Electricity has failed woefully to even meet up with this arrangement".

"On the specific day of supply to any of the communities, the customary excuse of Akute feeder trip-off is used as justification for breach.  It is worse that at the slightest hint or drop of rainfall, what otherwise should be a blessing, automatically becomes a curse by the handlers Ikeja Electric. Its light off immediately, no thanks to Akute feeder", the communities lamented

"The use of Akute feeder as an alibi is not only frustrating and ludicrous; it is seen as a ploy to coerce the two communities into joining your willing buyer-willing seller scheme, there-by imposing exploitative, outlandish electricity tariffs on the two communities against our wish.

"For communities where almost half of the population are without meters, which are not readily made available, the management of IE in the most unconscionable manner provides electricity for barely 10 days in a month, but serve residents with ridiculous monthly estimated bills, a situation  which is not only oppressive but unfair, insensitive and rapacious.                                                                        

"However, the provision of the Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards Regulation of 2015 is concise and expressly clear on the duties imposed on Ikeja Electric management on distribution infrastructure.

"Chapter 5 of the regulation MANDATES that all distribution infrastructures including Akute feeder should guarantee operational performance within the anticipated life span of its installation, and when such infrastructure’s lifespan expires it must be replaced immediately.

"Furthermore, the chapter provides that such distribution feeder must take into cognizance community expansion and must also not be impeded by environmental issues such as flood, human factor, erosion etc.

The petitioners said, it was clear that, Ikeja Electric is insensitive and in continuous breach of the rights of the two communities, by failing to put in place mechanisms and adequate infrastructures to uphold its own side of its obligations and continuous flouting of laid down regulations.

"The actions of Ikeja electric have put the two communities of Arepo and Isheri/OPIC in constant darkness, leading to psychological trauma and unquantifiable financial loss in the last one year.

"It is against this backdrop therefore that the Executive Committees of ACCDA and ISECOM representing the two communities of Arepo and Isheri/OPIC hereby received with shock and utmost consternation the proposed move by the management of Ikeja Electric to increase tariff on electricity by 1st July 2000.

"Having failed repeatedly over the years and particularly in the last one year, to provide regular supply of power to the two communities, through repeated failure and breach of contractual obligations under the Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards Regulation of 2015, we therefore vehemently oppose this plan by your management to increase tariff being paid by our communities".

The communities however, suggested a way out for the proposed increase in tariff to ameliorate the current epileptic supply of power and improving the relationship with the two communities.

The residents said the suggestions include: urgent upgrade or overhaul of the obsolete and overloaded Akute Transmission Feeder, which has been the source of epileptic supply to the two communities over the years, provision of a booster station as promised by Ikeja Electric along the transmission line from Akute to Arepo, to improve supply to the two communities.

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