BY OUR REPORTER
Electricity consumers in Lafia have accused the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) of migrating them to higher tariff bands despite epileptic electricity supply in the city.
Referring to an advertorial placed by the AEDC which appeared in a national newspaper last week about the migration, some consumers who spoke to Nasarawa Eye newspaper in Lafia voiced out their outrage over the migration, stressing that AEDC was not telling the truth about the quantity of electricity they distribute daily in Lafia.
“There is nowhere in Lafia where electricity is being enjoyed for 20 to 24 hours in a day, so the claim by AEDC that power is being supplied for 20 to 24 hours daily in Lafia after connecting the city to the national grid, is not only misleading but total abuse of people’s intelligence”, they insisted.
They noted that even the six hours supply AEDC claims it made prior to the installation and connection of Lafia to the national grid is not true. “No resident in Lafia can attest that before coming of the 330KVA Akurba substation he/she enjoyed six hours uninterrupted electricity supply daily”
“As I am talking to you now, there is no feeder in Lafia where supply by AEDC runs for five hours uninterrupted, not even the favoured feeders such as feeder FD2 and government feeder which runs through Shendam road, Bukan Ari, Tudun Abu and project quarters,” said a respondent, adding that rarely did electricity from these favoured feeders run for 10 hours uninterrupted.
The worst hit according to other respondents are consumers on feeder FD1A who would be without electricity for 78 hours “and when the supply is restored, it hardly lasts for six hours”.
On billing by AEDC, virtually all consumers interviewed by Nasarawa Eye, described the April bill sent to them by AEDC as ” a rip off because there was no commensurate supply of electricity that meet up to the amount they charged”.
One consumer, who gave his name as Gambo Mohammad, stated that AEDC in Lafia has become a “monster”, describing their estimated billing as fraud and an attempt to impoverish citizens the more.
“How on earth do you ask a consumer that was paying N3, 000 per month before to pay N8, 600 now with no significant improvement in the supply he received, this is unacceptable”, he concluded.
Another consumer who was angered by the billing of AEDC for April, said, “certainly we will protest, you cannot just wake and make this arbitrary increase in our bill without giving a commensurate electricity”
“From all indications, AEDC is benefitting immensely from putting us in darkness. Since we are all on estimated billing, whether there is electricity or not, we must get the bill at end of the month and whether you pay or not the charges will continue to remain in your account as debt”, he fumed. ” We are not against increment of tariff by AEDC but let them stabilized the supply, let the electricity be available first before the increment” he further insist.
The AEDC Area Manager at their Lafia office maintained that the organization supplies over 20 hours of electricity daily from their end, adding that consumers that are not enjoying such quantity have ‘local’ problems. Such problems according to the manager have to do either with transformers serving those areas, cables connecting the polls, etc. The manager gave an instance of parts of Makurdi road where AEDC officials are currently replacing those cables with better ones. The manager advised consumers to note the name and phone number of AEDC officials in charge of their particular area and contact them whenever they do not have constant electricity.