This was contained in an online interview granted to Comrade Martins Adefemi
The Chairman, Concerned IBAFO Youth Movement, Comrade Martins Adefemi while speaking with one of our reporters in an interview granted urged Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to follow the examples of other distribution companies in rolling out the prepaid meters to ibafo community. He said, it is even illegal on any disco to connect any consumer without meter installation. This is covered under Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
How are the people coping with billings when there are no meters?
He responded with a smile, and slammed the government for her role in punishing and depriving people access to the prepaid meters. He said, what is the benefit of law you made without implementation? What stop government from promoting and enacting laws that will give customers access to approach meter manufacturing companies without going through the third party? He also take a slight dig on distribution companies as well for lack of transparency on their part. The distribution companies take advantage of instability of government policies to fraud people by ditching out outrageous and inconsistent billings. The community members are at the receiving end of this biggest fraud or what I can term as money heist. A situation where there is no supply and you continue receiving bills. And again there is no proper measure to know what you consume at the end of the month. How can you justify the amount you are given in a month when there is no accurate measure on energy consumption?. The readings that the discos rely on to prepare the bills as claimed does not reflect in the supply of electricity. Ask some of these discos about the record of their customers, you will see that they do not know number of houses using electricity. This further confirm that there is no standard database or accurate enumerations. And even this will encourage some personnel among discos to divert fund
Are you saying IBEDC is defrauding people by their operation?
I am not particular about any disco. In my own opinion I see all discos as the same. The only difference between them might be in personnel or customer relationship. They all have their disadvantages and we should not forget that they are open for business, and business is all about making profit. But my take is to justice the profit your are making in your service delivery.
What is the performance of IBEDC in ibafo?
I believe IBEDC can do better and improve on their service delivery. Definitely they will have their challenges but what matter most is to rise above any challenge. Remember that NEPA under Federal Government also had their shortcomings. We'll give IBEDC benefit of doubt that they will do better in ibafo community.
We learnt there is stable electricity in ibafo. Is that correct ?
He said, even there is no stable electricity in Nigeria. If you know anywhere please tell me. I believe this must have been a statement credited to Former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). I read this report sometimes ago and I was ashamed because I could not believe such statement coming from him. How can someone of that capacity said publicly that Nigeria enjoys 24hours supply daily. It is such a shame that this is the situation we found ourselves in this country. What we want from IBEDC is sincerity on the time schedule for supply in ibafo community. They should not take people for granted or deprived them of their rights. Customers should always be treated with respect and dignity. I even read in a report of one disco that they have been running at loss since they started operation. To me, why do you continue? You should quit and allow others who are not running at loss to continue. This kind of statement is pathetic and worrisome because you are indirectly saying that people should not expect good services from you.
Are you enjoying good services from IBEDC?
He smiled, and asked 'good services in what kinds'? The only thing I can say is that we have choices of repentance and being born again. I'm sure IBEDC will repent and born again. We should give them that benefit of doubt.
What will you advise IBEDC to improve on?
I will advise IBEDC to improve on customer relationship and also upgrade their system of operation to meet customer's needs and satisfaction. I think there is room for improvement on service delivery if willing. Lastly, I will advise them to show more commitment in the area of meter provision and installation for the community. We want prepaid meters so that we can have control over our supply.
What do you have say to your community members?
We should take responsible by fighting for our rights. We must come together as a formidable team to demand for prepaid meters. We must understand that arbitrary billings can never stop if we continue without getting meters. We must educate our people on the benefits of prepaid meters and encourage them to register. I believe our community leaders can lead this campaign as well.
On this note, I will like to thank you once again for given us audience through the interview.
Thank you sir.