A retired official of the defunct National Electric Power Authority, Sakiru Onafeko, has called for a “permanent disconnection” of power supply to his three-bedroom apartment on Molipa Estate in the Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Onafeko, who was the NEPA Assistant Director, Rural Electrification, Ogun State, before his retirement, lamented estimated billings given to him by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.
PUNCH Metro saw a letter dated June 22, 2021, which the retiree addressed to the IBEDC Business Manager, Fidipote, Ijebu-Ode, requesting the disconnection of his apartment.
Onafeko told our correspondent that he made the move out of frustration, adding that he lived alone and was paying between N4,000 and N6,000 since 2001 until the sudden hike in his electricity bill in June.
The retired electrical engineer said in June 2021, he was alarmed when he received a bill of over N9,000, and he decided to complain.
He told our correspondent that he was confronted with a lot of obstacles while trying to relay his complaint at the IBEDC Ibadan Garage Business Unit, Ijebu-Ode.
Onafeko, who claimed that he had never owed any bill, said he paid N5,000 out of the charges, adding that he was shocked when he was disconnected a few minutes after the payment.
He said, “When I went to see the Ibadan Garage Business Unit Manager on my June bill, he said I shouldn’t bother, that it was a result of the mandate that they were given to generate over N90m. Should I now be the one to carry the burden?
“He asked me to make a photocopy of the electricity bill and return it to him. When I went back to his office, I was told he was not around. I asked the gateman to deliver the letter on my behalf, but he said he wasn’t asked to take any letter.
“When I went back there, they said he was in a meeting at Abeokuta. I paid N5,000 out of the bill. Before I could move from their office to my shop, which is about a kilometre away, someone called me that my power had been disconnected.
“The IBEDC worker I spoke to over the phone said I was disconnected for not paying the full amount. I kept my cool.
“When I paid the balance, I took the letter (for permanent disconnection) there; the secretary refused to take it and asked me to support it with an affidavit. I went to the court, swore an affidavit and submitted the letter. I can’t afford their exorbitant bills again.”
The IBEDC’s Media Relations Officer, Busolami Tunwase, promised to investigate the incident.
She said, “Please send me the letter. I’ll call the Ijebu-Ode office to investigate the matter. IBEDC cannot bill any customer more than they are supposed to pay at any time or contrary to the NERC directive. There are procedures to solve these issues.”