PIC. 3. PHCN DISTRIBUTION CENTERS ON WUNTI STREET AND YANDOKA ROAD CHAINED AND LOCKED DURING THE PROTEST BY NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) OVER INCREASE OF ELECTRICITY TARIFF, IN BAUCHI ON MONDAY (8/2/16). 0757/8/2/2016/DJ/EO/BJO/NAN

Onitsha residents issue 21-day ultimatum to Enugu Disco over blackout

By Obinna Achi, Awka
Residents of Onitha have issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to install pre-paid meters in their area as well as to address the continuous blackout of the city.
The aggrieved residents, under the aegis of Onitsha South Elites Forum, are protesting alleged failure of EEDC to install prepaid meters in the area.
They collaborated with a human rights organisation, Campaign for Democracy (CD) in the protest, which was also organised to campaign against continuous power outage and ‘crazy’ billing.
The protesters numbering over 1, 500, stormed the EEDC offices at Fegge, GRA, and Ogbaru, carrying placards with various inscriptions, and copies of their petition signed by their  Coordinator, Mr Noel Udeoji.
Addressing newsmen after the protest, Udeoji said that the protesters had suffered poor treatment from the EEDC.
He said that power blackout had crippled economic activities in the commercial city.
The coordinator said that the protesters would not tolerate suspension of Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation for estimated billings system by the EEDC.
“Why suspend the National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC)-approved estimated billing methodology and have, in its place, an illegal, exploitative and acrimonious billing system?’’ Udeoji asked.
According to him, the EEDC has 21-days from the date of receipt of the petition to inform residents when pre-paid meters will be procured and installed for electricity consumers in the area.
Also speaking, the CD National Publicity Secretary, Mr Dede Uzor, said that the protest was to express displeasure over continued blackout in Onitsha in particular  and South-East Geopolitical Zone in general .
According to him, EEDC distributes estimated bills of from N7,000 to N11,000 monthly to each consumer without supplying electricity.
“It is believed that they milk residents of billions of naira without commensurate power supply. It is ridiculous, and we cannot continue to accept it. We demand a stop to the estimated billing.
“They should resolve this issue of pre-paid meters within 21- days, failure of which we will mobilise against them,” Uzor said.

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