Members of the Allied Business Community, Nsukka, on Wednesday staged a protest over alleged exploitation of their members by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC.
The members, who carried placards with various inscriptions, said they were protesting age-long injustice.
Some of the placards read: “Forced to pay electricity bills; EEDC stop exploiting Nsukka people; Replace estimated bills with prepaid metres; NEPA- 30%, PHCN-%, EEDC- 0%, among others.
The group in a letter signed by its President and Secretary General, Comrade Okagu Augustine and Comrade Ojobo Godwin, respectively, stated that “over the years, Nsukka has continued to suffer neglect in the provision of power, a situation that has critically affected our businesses. Recently, the town has been thrown into darkness with consequent collapse of businesses”.
The business group further stated that apart from the worsening power supply, their members were worst hit in the area of estimated billing system.
“In what appears to be a well-calculated act aimed at exploiting our members, EEDC, has made it near impossible for us to have pre-paid metres, which will enable us pay for power depending on the rate of consumption.
“The implication is that while we use insignificant power per month, we pay far more than other people who enjoy power supply to the fullest.
“We even have worst cases where some of our members are billed for energy they never consumed. Such persons are forced to pay the bill or have their line disconnected. What could be more injustice than this?”, the group queried.
They appealed to the EEDC authorities to stop “every form of exploitation, which comes in form of estimated billing”.
“Our members and indeed Nsukka residents should not be billed for energy they never consumed.
“Power supply to Nsukka should increase appreciably in order to help our businesses, which have collapsed”, they further demanded.
The group observed that apart from the fact that Nsukka is a University town, it houses several businesses, a situation that makes the need for adequate power supply imperative.
The group marched through Enugu Road, Nsukka to the EEDC office, where some workers on sighting them took to their heels.
The Business Manager, Nsukka Unit of the EEDC, Mr. Wale, who addressed the protesters promised to look into their complaints and take necessary action.
He, however, said the issue of poor power supply was a national problem.