FCT communities welcome directive on fixed charges, metering

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Residents of Chika and Aleiyta communities located along the Airport Road in Abuja have hailed the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) directive on the removal of fixed charges and metering of all consumers.
It will be recalled that NERC recently approved an increase in electricity tariffs by 45 per cent, while removing all fixed charges.
Some residents of the communities who spoke with in Abuja on Thursday, complained that the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) had been increasing bills through estimated billing.
They urged the government to ensure the enforcement of the newly approved tariff as well as the metering of all consumers, to eliminate sharp practices.
Mr. Joashim Bello, a Civil Servant who lives at Chika, said that the bill being sent to consumers as outrageous, adding that it did not reflect the amount of supply they enjoyed.
Bello said that one of the challenges consumers in the area faced was estimated billing, which he noted had continued to rise since the beginning of the year.
According to him, the smallest compound in the community pays as much as N5,500 monthly.
He said that in spite of the fact that many residents had paid for prepaid metres, none had been provided and as such everybody in the area received estimated billing.
Furthermore, he noted that due to the inadequacy of transformers, the area experienced serious load shedding.
He, therefore, appealed to the FCTA to provide high capacity transformers to enable the residents to enjoy power supply.
“I am happy that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has reviewed the tariff by removing the so-called fixed charges and order for compulsory metering of all consumers.
“I want to beg the regulatory body to ensure the implementation of the new order because what we are paying now is really unfair.
“Imagine somebody using almost 10 per cent of his monthly earnings to pay for only electricity bill yet we buy fuel every three days to power our generators.’’ Bello said.
Another resident, Mr Sunny Audu, told NAN that residents often contribute money to fix faulty transformers, replace poles and wires as well as pay electricians to carry out the repairs.
He also complained that some places within the community had not enjoyed full voltage for over six months.
“What we are experiencing in this area is pure exploitation because we buy our poles; we buy wires and pay the AEDC for connection and pay them bills as well.
“We also maintain and service transformers with our money, yet we pay exorbitantly for power consumption in the name of estimated billing,’’ he said.