By Bayo Akinlade
Nigerians are generally a long-suffering people, as the late Fela sang the song “Suffering and Smiling” we; as a people continue to suffer from self inflicted problems and laugh it off.
As though the Covid pandemic was not enough to distabilize and traumatize us, Ikeja Electric is un-relentless with bringing crazy bills while providing very poor services to consumers.
The latest infraction that has caused me to write this piece (hoping that we still have good leaders up there that can protect the rights of the people they swore to protect to call IE to order and ensure that this exploitation stops) is to bring to light IE’s latest oppressive behaviour.
One of my community transformer was struck by lightening in mid June 2020 putting some of us into darkness. After a lot of back and forth, the Transformer was taken for repairs and brought back in late July.
IE has now insisted that all residents affected MUST pay the sum of N20,000 on their respective bills before power is restored. This means that IE is saying that we should acknowledge that the crazy bills they bring which has now accumulated is justified. I don’t think IE has any justification whatsoever to make these demands at all.
Who in the world gives these oppressive orders especially after the Covid pandemic, the massive loss of earnings and loss of jobs?
How can a company who cannot provide basic services, but continues to bring exploitative estimated bills which is twice or three times the amount someone on prepaid meter pays in a month be so corrupt and insensitive at the same time.
What will IE gain by their actions?
They can only loose more revenue and encourage more electricity theft, as what people need but they cannot get, forces them to be desperate enough to break the law and do whatever it takes to get what they need.
So if Ikeja Electric thinks that they can suffer the masses and get away with it, they have another thing coming because there are still men and women in this country who are not corrupt and who care enough to suffer a little to fight a just cause.
I therefore call on the Consumer Protection Agency, the ICPC, EFCC, NERC and all other agencies to call IE to order and investigate these crazy bill phenomenon.
Someone must answer for throwing communities and families into darkness and depriving the masses from enjoying the resources that is collectively for the Nigerian people.
Bayo Akinlade is the immediate Past Chairman; NBA Ikorodu Branch