In this harsh economy, it is the dream of every home to have a prepaid meter. And I strongly feel that democracy is nothing to a man or woman whose meager resources is drained through monthly monstrous electricity bills.
I empathize with every Nigerian electricity consumer out there under the burden of the throat-cutting estimated billing system. It is really sad and disturbing when one gets to hear about the outrageous and inhuman bills forced down on the common Nigerian consumer to pay.
To state that these bills are inhuman will be an understatement. Or how do you explain a common scenario whereby a consumer living in a single room apartment is coerced to pay N12,800 as electricity bill every month. This is far above his or her monthly house rent of N5,000. How can one justify this bill against the basic electrical appliances in such apartment?
You Must See This: No prepaid meter-No electricity bill payment
I know of an Enugu state resident whose prepaid meter got damaged. This consumer could hardly use up his monthly recharge of N2,500 under the prepaid regime. But EEDC has been billing him N10,000 monthly for the very same apartment since his prepaid meter’s defect.
Most of us are aware of so many startup businesses and small ventures have been forced out of business due to these killing bills.
And for the records, about 4.1 million of the 7.5 million that have access to electricity in the country are yet to be metered by the Distribution Companies as at the last quarter of December 2017, based on latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
If you are amongst this unmetered 4.1 million consumers, what are you doing about it? Have you applied for the prepaid meter installation? Did you pay for the meter application? Are you following up on your application?
For your information, prepaid meters are not distributed naturally or commonly. It is a struggle in Nigeria. A survival of the fittest.
Here in this post, I will share with you 5 major reasons why most consumers may never enjoy the benefit of a prepaid meter in Nigeria.
- Your DISCOs hate prepaid meters
It is widely known that DISCOs deliberately deny consumers the prepaid meters so as to intensify their fraudulent activities. They know that they will be forced to make power available the more in order to generate their targeted revenue if all their customers have prepaid meters.
And because they lack the capacity and ingenuity to match such supply, they deliberately dilly-dally on providing prepaid meters. So that by month end, they deduct the amount generated from metered consumers and then share the huge balance among unmetered consumers.
- When you don’t know your right
It is your right as an electricity consumer to be correctly metered. The law provides that prepaid meter distribution is free. Consumers who do not know their rights are deceived by corrupt electricity officials to cough exorbitant fees all the name of getting metered.
To make matters worse, consumers still wait for eternity after paying so much for the meters. Electricity customers must get themselves abreast of their rights and privileges as consumers in Nigeria. Visit Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to know more about your rights as an electricity consumer.
- When you settle for mediocrity
Mediocrity is the norm that the common Nigerian is used to. We have all gotten used to the corrupt and inefficient system to the point that we now accept them. That mentality must change if you really want to get your prepaid meter delivered to your doorstep. Choose to be different.
Stand your grounds as a knowledgeable consumer. And you will get the result you desire. Corrupt officials know that it is risky to mistreat an enlightened customer. Because such customer can escalate issues to the highest authorities. So, you must reject mediocrity and stand your grounds.
- When you don’t know where to make your report
Your ability to escalate your lingered complaint is key to getting your desired result. You must be ready to formally report your complaint to the DISCO in charge of your area and then progress to NERC if the DISCO fails to handle the matter properly. Consumers who are very docile and not given to escalate matters may never get their prepaid meters installed.
See our post on the contact of all the 11 DISCOs in Nigeria.
- When you are not persistent
Be ready to take the matter headlong. Be persistent in your demand for your right as a consumer. People who barely report their complaints and sleep off are hardly taken seriously in Nigeria. Once your complaint letters are firm and persistent, you will be singled out and settled.
In conclusion, if you believe that your monthly electricity bill is too high and does not reflect your power consumption, then you have a strong case to make. Don’t die under the weight of crazy bills.
You don’t need to use money to fight for your right. All you need is the right information. And that is what we have armed you with here.
Engage your DISCOs, if they fail. Then involve NERC. And keep a record of all your correspondences with each party. Never give up on your consumer rights.
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