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PHCN customers condemn non installation of meters

15 February 2013, 16:01

Lagos - Some electricity consumers  in Lagos have alleged that the PHCN had failed to supply pre-paid meters to them after two years of payment.

The PHCN customers expressed their dismay in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.

Mrs Alice Danladi, a banker, said that PHCN had failed to fulfill its promise to install the meters within two weeks after payment of N25 000 for a meter.

Danladi told NAN that she paid for a single-phase meter over a year ago, but had not received the meter since then.

``Customers who need pre-paid meters will have to wait for a long time.

“The latest information is that management has stopped distributing the meters because they are not available,`` she said.

Mr Simon Titus, a tax consultant, alleged that some business units of PHCN were hoarding the meters and this was deliberate so as to continue to place customers on estimated bills.

``I am yet to receive my meter since 2011 when I paid N25 000 for the meter. What we keep hearing is that the distribution is being done in batches, `` he said.

Mr Bamidele Dauda, a computer engineer, alleged that some PHCN officials were being bribed by customers in the bid to get the meters.

``Many people have paid for these meters and are yet to receive them, `` Dauda told NAN.

Mrs Oluwafunmi Adebisi, a consumer in Surulere, said she had been receiving high bills for a while now.

``I have witnessed inexplicable billings in the last six months which is not justifiable since there has not been regular supply of electricity.

``We used to receive  bills of between N2 000 and N2 500 before now, but the amount has been hovering between N7, 000 and N8, 000 monthly in the last six months,`` he said.

Mr Ifeanyi Emeka, a lawyer, said that he was disappointed by the state of affairs.

He said the delay in installing the meters to those who had paid the N25 000 amounted to a breach of contract.

``It does not speak well to have paid N25 000 for a single- phase meter and N55 000 for three-phase one and not get them installed for two years,`` the lawyer said.

A PHCN official, who preferred anonymity, told NAN that the EKO and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Companies were facing the challenge of attending to backlog of customers that had paid for meters.

``There are few meters in stock due to the pronouncement by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to give meters free to every home.

``But now, the new policy is that the meters are not to be installed for free again.

``Hence, we have to attend to those customers who had applied for the meters a long time ago,” the officials said.


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