Lawmakers Accuse Electricity Companies Of Fraud Over Estimated Billing
If you ever had to pay for an electricity bill that you were certain you didn’t use, you won’t find this accusation of fraud by the House of Representatives strange.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers lashed out at the electricity distribution companies over estimated billing.
For them, estimated billing is pure fraud and the distribution companies are being operated by fraudsters and persons with the mindset to rip off Nigerians.
They also accused the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, whose duty it is to regulate the power sector, of colluding with the electricity distribution companies or being helpless while Nigerians were being ripped off.
The lawmakers spoke during a public hearing held at the National Assembly on the “need to curb excessive electricity charges being levied on the consumers by Discos.”
The session was chaired by an All Progressives Congress member from Osun State, Mr Ajibola Famurewa.
The House is currently considering a bill to criminalise estimated billing by the Discos.
Officials of the power firms risk a jail term of six months by the time the law comes into effect for failing to provide prepaid meters to their customers.
At Wednesday’s public hearing, angry lawmakers noted that the Discos seemed to be enjoying estimated and excessive billing to the detriment of Nigerians, as doing so was serving their business interest.
One of the members, who is from Zamfara State, Muazu Lawal, said, “It appears that the Discos and other stakeholders are not ready for the job before them. You just go about billing people the way you like without considering the actual power they consume. This happens everywhere in the country and even here in Abuja.
“From what is happening, I think the Discos are either operated by fraudsters or they are just extorting money from Nigerians. If you are not ready for the job, tell us you are not ready. Go to the government and say you are not ready.”
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