David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Residents of Odoagba layout in Awka capital territory have protested the alleged use of thugs by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to force them to pay electricity bills.
Residents of the area told THISDAY in Awka after a meeting of residents of the area that what was more annoying was that they pay the bills even when the company does not supply electricity to them.
One of the leaders of the area, Mr. James Nwokolo who spoke to our correspondent said: “How can we be paying for what we do not enjoy? They only supply electricity to this area once or twice a week, and that does not last for up to two hours, yet they bring very high bills at the end of the month.
“I don’t know if we are paying for darkness, because you cannot come to collect payment for services you did not render.
“These days, you see an EEDC truck patrolling around the neighbourhood, carrying a large number of young people who we suspect to be thugs, forcing people to pay or they cut off their source of supply. We are not happy about this, and in this area, we are planning a massive protest for this.”
Another resident of the area, a student, Mr. Somtochukwu Nwachukwu recalled his experience with staff of the company who came to force him to pay electricity bill recently.
“Those people are not staff of EEDC, I suspect they are thugs who the company hire to help them force people to pay. I confronted them on that day for trying to disconnect us, but you needed to see how aggressive they all turned.
“Even when I reminded them that we have not been having electricity, they ignored us and threatened to beat up anyone who attempted to stop them from effecting the disconnection.”
Nwachukwu further stated that the reluctance of the company to install pre-paid meters for consumers was deliberate, so they can continue to issue bogus bills by estimation to customers.
The public relations officer of the EEDC zonal office in Enugu, Mr. Emeka Eze could not be reached through telephone for reaction.
But Eze in a previous interview had stated that the company was working to ensure that all its customers were metered. He said the company would need N80billion to procure meters for its customers in the South east zone, adding that
It had already spent N10billion in metering its customers to ensure that they pay for exact billing power consumed.