The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) was arrested for allegedly installing a new electricity meter believed to have an outstanding debt of 120,000 naira.
Tenants of the affected building inside the EFAB estate in Jabi, Abuja, expressed their anger during a conversation with DAILY POST.
On Friday, January 9, AEDC officials went to their residence on Route 15 to repair the meter but did not activate.
The next day, the owner, MAA (full name withheld) and the tenants called the company to report the matter.
AEDC responded that they had closed for the day and could not resolve the issue until Monday.
One of the occupants, Victoria, recalled that her apartment was not supplied with electricity from this Friday to Monday.
She further explained, “After it was activated, we found out that it was not the paid meter. I found out after using BuyPower (WhatsApp option) to buy N5,000 light.
“Confused, I checked the details of the transaction and saw an outstanding N119 915.83k. I was wondering how a new meter could have such a debit balance. Also, the address was not ours.
“I then informed the owner who confirmed the name of the meter, Mr. NAJ (full name omitted) was not what he was using when he requested and paid for the energy device.
“We called the AEDC again on Monday. An Ibrahim from the customer service unit assured that this would be corrected. By the time I speak almost a week later a bad meter with N119 915.83k after deducting my N5000 N has not been replaced. “
The aggrieved citizens sent the screenshot of the details of the ‘new meter’ which shows the name, address (not that of the owner or residence) and the unpaid bill.
They described the situation as “the height of irresponsibility”, lamenting their almost a week of frustration.
“If Nigeria were a country where justice is served in a timely manner and where adequate compensation is given, many public and private institutions would now be bankrupt,” said another tenant.
Oyebode Fadipe, general manager of corporate communications at AEDC, was not taking calls or responding to SMS inquiries at the time of publication.
The other telephone numbers dialed were either abandoned or failed.
Michael Faloseyi, spokesperson for the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), also did not call.
A representative from the NERC Abuja Forum office, on condition of anonymity, said the complainants “are drafting a notification to AEDC so that it can be corrected.” But it has been done.
When asked why a new meter came with a debt of N 120,000, she said: “It means it’s an old meter. Each new meter has approximately 1,000 to 2,000 units. If they transported that particular meter from another location to your home, the debt will be there. The new meters carry no debt.
DAILY POST reports that there have been similar complaints from customers in Abuja and other parts of the country.