By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Residents of Jikwoyi community, Abuja Municipal Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory have demanded that the Federal Government withdraw the license of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for poor performance.
In a press briefing on Thursday, the Jikwoyi Landlords Association lamented that AEDC has perpetually kept the community in darkness in order to conserve energy through the use of manually controlled auto-reclosure.
According to Hon. Emeka Ahuakagha who represented the President-General, “This was principally to deliberately alter feeder K2 from the injection substation in order to benefit from the proceeds of this act of sabotage. It became very clear and obvious that once the feeder is turned off with the auto-reclosure, no energy is consumed and customers in the Jikwoyi axis, who are majorly on estimated billings pay for the energy not used, whereas the Area Manager remits to the transmission based on energy consumed.
He said other strategies deployed were to deprive the residents of power include
removal of fuses from transformer for days and open T.off(s) that led to Jikwoyi Community.
“The incessant power outages at the Jikwoyi Community and its environs have reached alarming, unacceptable, and insecure proportions.
“During the meeting of 1st September 2019, members of the Jikwoyi Community were admonished among others to manage their light consumption by putting out light that are not in use, ay their bills promptly and apply for prepaid meters for their properties.
“As a follow up, the Community leadership compelled by the circumstances requested the authorities of AEDC to make available 2000 pre-paid meters to customers in the first instance, and subsequently more in the near future and carry out general replacement of weak and expired poles and cables posing danger to lives of members of the community.
“These issues were documented and forwarded to AEDC Area Manager in Jikwoyi office on the 10th October, 2019. It is really sad and unfortunate that instead of AEDC addressing the issues raised, they decided to implement power tariff hike by decoy and power outages which customers pay for also.
“The constant power outage has caused the Jikwoyi community serious economic and insecurity problems.
“The Community leadership is in-undated with reports, complaints and protests by our numerous members. It should also be stated that electricity consumers in Jikwoyi community who are still battling with estimated billing and insufficient supply, have now been made to pay more for meters.
“We are aware that power supply has improved generally, but the Jikwoyi community has been deliberately denied equitable power supply for selfish reasons by the AEDC. We are at a loss as to what we have done to merit this harsh punishment by the AEDC.
“We are made to understand that the installation and operation of auto-reclosure at Jikwoyi Sub-station is a deliberate policy of AEDC which is inimical to the good intension of the Federal Government to provide stable power supply.
“The AEDC’S unwholesome attitude has caused the Community untold hardship in areas of economic loses, insecurity and basic comfort that should be enjoyed through the stable supply of power.
“From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that AEDC lacks the capacity to distribute power in the face of abundance. It is also clear that AEDC is deliberately withholding power to make more profit from consumers for power not supplied.
“The Community leadership is very unhappy with the refusal of the AEDC to supply consumers with Prepaid Meters and instead continues to exploit our people with estimated billings.
This is unacceptable to the Community.
In view of the foregoing, the Association hereby demands as follows that meaningful and appreciable power supply is made available within Fourteen (14) days.
“We demand immediate construction and installation of new sub-stations within Jikwoyi and its environs.
“Prepaid meters are made available to consumers and immediate halt to estimated bills.
“The replacement of all expired cables, wooden poles and broken concrete poles in the Jikwoyi Community.
“Immediate and unconditional removal of all the auto-reclosures.
“Installation of new transformers and balancing of loads carried by existing transformers.
“In event(s) of failure to meet our demands, the Jikwoyi Landlord Association and the Community shall have no option but to take necessary Legal Measures which may include claims for damages.
“The Jikwoyi landlord Association hereby pleads with the Federal Government to note the abysmal performances of AEDC with respect to Jikwoyi Community and its environs, and consequently fast track the process of bringing more competent and business minded players for efficient service delivery.
“The Federal Government should as a matter of urgent national interest consider the termination of the contract earlier entered into with AEDC, noting the fact that the contract includes the provision of more equipment and better service. From all indications, it is clear that AEDC neither provided new equipment(s) nor improved service but rather relied on the equipment(s) inherited, which have become obsolete.
“To this end it is our humble submission that in view of the incompetency, lackadaisical and unacceptable level of performance by AEDC, we wish to request that their licence be revoked and issued to a more competent company. “We also wish to put on demand that the Federal Government should note the role played by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AEDC in inflicting economic hardships on Nigerians and should invoke the necessary laws and charge him for economic sabotage.