Black out: Zamfara community laments unregulated billing

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Residents of Kaura Namoda town, headquarters of Kaura Namoda local government area of Zamfara state, have lamented how Kaduna Electric Power Distribution Unit neglected them in total black out, a situation which led to economic devaluation of the communities over the years.

This was contained in a statement signed by the spokesman of Kaura Namoda Focus Forum, Abdulrazak Bello Kaura and made available to Blueprint in Gusau, Tuesday.

He said the communities are helpless, uncared for, and badly treated.

“The KAEDCO is operating as an oracle considering the way they handle customers with impunity, more especially our community, with neither respect to their operation guidelines nor their customers. Thus, keeping us in perpetual darkness and charging us mercilessly, because we have no option due to the monopoly in electricity distribution in our area.”

He said, as a business hub, Kaura Namoda is now in a sorry state in terms of power supply which cripples our economy and block chances of entrepreneurship thereby increasing the level of unemployment amongst youth and making others hopeless.

“To be fair, we need to acknowledge the efforts of some KAEDCO staff who are always doing their best to manage the obsolete equipment in Kaura Namoda Power Station and other Sub-Station (e.g stepdown transformers) mostly using their personal tools and mobility.

“To buttress our points, KAEDCO do supply power to Kaura Namoda community once in a while, mostly for 1-3 with the sole aim of getting their customers to settle their electricity bills to avoid disconnection even when notice were not served,” said Kaura.

In the case of faults (e.g falling electricity poles, transformer faults, fuses, armoured cables etc.), KAEDCO only left its staff and customers to shoulder the responsibility of repairing the faulty equipment from their resources.

He challenged KEDCO for unregulated bill on (estimation) monthly regardless of whether the power is supplied or not, and the least they are charging is N4,000 and above on a household who may not enjoy for 5 hours throughout the month.

“There was a time early this year, when we were jubilating on improved power supply which subsequently abased and diminished. At present, Kaura Namoda 33KVA Power sub-station is faulty, thereby putting the community in darkness and making the operating staff to operate in more hazardous conditions,” he said.

One may begin to ask who is responsible for regulating the activities of the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOS) in Nigeria? The answer here is, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The next question may be, do they perform their duties as stipulated by law in Zamfara state? We will answer this as we are yet to see their impact or whether they exist or not.

He further stated that the NERC is saddled with the responsibility of protecting the interests of consumers, issue licenses to operators/investors, set and review electricity tariffs and where possible promote competition as its primary duty. Which we may be bold enough to say they failed in Kaura Namoda.

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