by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) has denied collecting money from consumers as ‘registration’ for prepaid meters that are supposed to be installed free-of-charge.
This is contrary to the allegation levelled against the company of collecting N500 each from consumers as registration fees for prepaid meters by several customers during question-and-answer session of the customer engagement forum held at Sardauna Memorial Centre in Kaduna state.
Making the denial in an interview at the forum organized by Nextier Power in collaboration with Kaduna Electricity and supported by MacArthur Foundation, head unit media and community relations-cum public relations officer of Kaduna Electric, Mr Idris Mohammed, said the report was “based on allegation.”
He however admitted that a customer made the allegation, but was nowhere to be found for further investigation that would uncover the company staff, who demanded for the money.
He explained that Kaduna Electric was aware of the allegations, which have not been proved or verified, describing it as unfounded.
Earlier, national secretary of Network for Electricity Consumers Advocacy for Nigeria, Mr Uket O, said they were in Kaduna in collaboration with Nextier Power to carry out ‘Nigeria light improvement through education (NLITE), engagement forum with Kaduna Electric on the current development in the market.
He explained that the regulatory body had earlier approved tariff categorization for the electricity distribution companies across the federation into different banks, ranging from A,B,C and D.
He further informed that they made series of presentations to NASS, presidency and a host of others before approval for the free prepaid meters for Nigerians was admitted by the President.
A customer, who gave his name as Abubakar Isah, who complained of “crazy bills” of N32,000, and accumulated to N600,000 for his residence alone, said the bank A,B,C and D tariff system itself is a fraud, since all the consumers feed from same energy line.
He however expressed satisfaction with the organizers of the engagement, adding that he’ll pursue the promise made to him by them until his problem is resolved.
The question-and-answer session of the forum was dominated with complaint of arbitrary electricity bills and tariff increment by residents and consumers in Kaduna and franchise states.