By Francis Sardauna
Residents of Kofar Kaura community in Katsina Local Government Area of Katsina State on Friday lamented what they described as extortion, outrageous billing by officials of the Kano Electricity Distributing Company (KEDCO).
The residents, who spoke with THISDAY, said the bills given to power consumers in the community by the power firm do not reflect their actual consumption as the charges are often increased intermittently by officials of the company in charge of the area.
Consequently, they called for the immediate installation of prepaid meters in their houses by the electricity distribution company to pave the way for them to be in control of their power consumption and end monstrous activities orchestrated by the company’s workforce.
One of the residents, Saidu Suleiman, said the power distribution company has been outrageously billing him N10,000 to N11,000 monthly for his three-bedroom flat without steady power supply, adding that he complained to the company but nothing had been done to avert what he described as fraudulent act.
He said: “I complained to the company about the overcharges that I want them to reduce it so that I can be able to pay on time. They (officials) said I should pay N10,000 so that they can stop the outrageous billing but after paying the N10,000 they brought the bill of one Lawal Muhammadu and asked me to be using it pending the resolution of the issue.
“Today (Friday) is about eight months but nothing has been done by the company. They should return my origin bill and install prepaid meters for us in this community because what they are doing is inhuman and fraudulent.”
Another resident, Kasimu Iliyasu, said: “We are getting electricity bills that are exorbitant; you can imagine a three-bedroom flat being asked to pay N10,000 to N11,000 monthly. They have being disconnecting our light without notification and we complained to their office but nothing up till now. They are over billing us; they should give us prepaid meters.”
On his part, Umar Yusuf faulted the billing method of the KEDCO, describing it as “pure extortion”, saying: “I was billed N9,000 for January, but by February 2021 it had jumped to N11,000 and instead of them to address the problem, they disconnected my light.”
However, efforts to reach the Head of Corporate Communications of KEDCO, Ibrahim Sani Shawai, were futile and officials of the Katsina regional office of the company declined comment.
Meanwhile, THISDAY reliably gathered that the company uses the quantum of power supplied to the community’s transformers to determine individual’s bills.