Too Much Light! Borno Residents Protest Against 24-Hour Supply Of Electricity
Residents of Maiduguri, Borno state capital, have complained about the 24-hour electricity supply provided by Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC).
Speaking to NAN on Tuesday, they described the 24-hour supply as a waste, saying it has caused “outrageous billings”.
Ibrahim Suleiman, a resident at who lives in Bolori Layout, appealed to the YEDC to reduce the supply of electricity.
“YEDC should go back to the former supply system where electricity was supplied for 12 hours and not 24 hours recently being enjoyed,” he said.
“I work from 7pm to 4pm. So I do not need any electricity until I get home. But in this case, whether you consume power or not, you will be billed to pay for it. I think this is not fair.”
Residents told NAN that the incurring high bills were not in the interest of the masses, because it has hindered economic activities and social life of the people.
They also alleged that YEDC jacked up their electricity bills by over 100 percent for commercial and residential areas sequel to an appreciable improvement in power supply in the metropolis.
Esther Chukwuma, one of the consumers, described the new billing adopted by the power distribution companies as frustrating and lamentable.
“My bill indicated that I used 605 units in November and they charged N14, 000 as against N6, 500 for September where I used the same units,” she said.
“They are charging me for what I did not consume because, during the day, I spend most of my time in my shop. I only use the electricity at night at home.
“I have a prepaid meter in the shop and I don’t spend more than N2, 000 in a whole month. So how come I am not staying at home and I am being asked to pay N14, 000.
“I am here in their office, demanding an explanation.”
Responding, Usman Wakta, the YEDC Maiduguri business manager, said the company does not bill its customers arbitrarily.
He said before the commissioning of the new 330kV transmission line, the stations relied on the 132KV controlled from Biu, which can only supply for a period of ten to twelve hours per day.
“On the average, we now supply electricity in the town for a minimum of 22 hours in a day which simply implies that the consumption of energy by residents in the state have multiplied or even tripled itself,” he explained.
“We took a simple study from our prepaid metres users and we found out that the people that usually came to buy units of N2000 or N3000 in a month now have to spend N15, 000 or N20, 000 because of their energy usage.
“One thing we notice about the consumers is that they waste energy. People have this habit of leaving their lights on even in the afternoon.
“Go to some supermarkets or filling stations, you will see more than 200 bulbs on in the afternoon. So the more you load you use the more energy you consume.”