Considering that tariff for street lights are supposed to be one of the lowest by regulation, residents of MD Avosh zone, Magodo phase one in Lagos, have decried and described as unacceptable, the issuance of crazy billings for street lights within the community by Ikeja Electric.
The Zonal Chairman of MD Avosh Zone, Magodo Phase one, Durojaiye Baruwa stated that the bills issued for street lights, which averaged N30,000 monthly were not realistic, as the community had invested in energy saving LED bulbs.
He queried the bills saying that the street lights were only powered at night, and the irregular power supply in the neighbourhood makes the estate managers use generators.
“So, we wonder why they bring to us such high bills for street lights alone.”
He noted that just like the way many residents of the estate have been clamouring for pre-paid meters for their homes, a request that has so far been futile; the estate as well would like to secure meters for the street lights to solve the problem.
“We have made sure the bills are being paid, but we still want to petition to find out why it is so,” he remarked.
Baruwa disclosed that prior to Meter Access Provider (MAP) scheme, the leadership of the estate wrote to Ikeja Electric on their grievances and procedures on how to acquire meters as a group, but nothing came out of the efforts, adding that the letter which was dated April 24 was received at Ikeja Electric same day, but no reply have been received yet.
He observed that even though they are aware of MAP and some residents who have tried so far to apply on the online platform provided have been complaining about different network challenges, it was just appropriate for IE to inform residents on necessary steps.
One of the residents who had such network issues told The Guardian that after trying to apply by himself to no avail, he went to IE office, where he was helped through the initial stage of know your customer (KYC), after which feedback has been stalled.
However, another resident whom our reporter learnt managed to secure a meter at the commencement period of MAP refused to disclose the procedures and how she acquired her meter.
Meanwhile, a representative from IE, while responding to the issues raised, said street lights have to be paid for no matter what, and if indeed, there were any issues, customers are to report and follow up complaints to the undertaking and business manager of the area, for quick resolution.
The IE representative explained that customers who have issues on the MAP online registration platforms are those with outstanding debts to settle and have not agreed on anyway to settle the debts.
He stated that it is only when customers come to their office to settle outstanding debts and there is an agreement on how to pay, only can they forge ahead online to complete their request.
However, the Estate Manager, MD Avosh Zone, Magodo Phase one, Adewale Adeola maintained that prior to MAP, IE came up with “pay N100,000 with what you are owing and we will give you meter,” and according to him, five out of the 180 residents in need of meter enrolled to pay then .
Adeola who confirmed that out of the 250 houses in the estate, about 180 residents have requested for prepaid meters, as complaints of high estimated billings of about N30,000 monthly, abound.
Most residents, according to Baruwa, have now resorted to individual moves to acquire meters for themselves, after the group’s failed attempts despite the willingness to pay for the service.