WHAT is happening at the moment in the billing procedures of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is nothing else but sheer robbery or at worst, Voodoo billing.
And it is quite frustrating that the PHCN authorities albeit the Federal Government through the Ministry of Power, has refused to address this or just pretend not to know what is going on; or quite tragically, has as usual, resolved to abandon the people to their fate.
I live in a 3-bedroom bungalow in Isolo area of Lagos — otherwise known as Lagos State Government-rejected district of Lagos. Despite the fact that I with my family usually leave home latest 11 am everyday, and return earliest 8pm, the PHCN roguish marketers or billing officers seem to have concluded that we must be running a heavy-duty factory in our home.
Our bill, after the recent increment, had been on a seeming punitive astronomic rise from N4,000 in May; to N5,056.17 in June; N3,940.81 in July; and N6,000 in August and now N9,541 in September. At this rate, we would be billed N12,000 for October!!!
How this Voodoo billing process came to be is baffling; especially as the so-called improvement in public supply that we have all be talking about has not really been the case in our part of Lagos; at best there has been marginal improvement that couldn’t have translated to such dramatic increment in cost of consumption.
I have checked with my neighbours and they seemed to have sank into their fate – asking one to toe their own line of action — offer bribe to the marketers “to ‘manage’ the bill every month”. But that is no option for me even as a matter of principle.
We have attempted to apply for the so-called Pre-Paid Metre but it is clear that the corruption-ridden PHCN system has obstructed or is obstructing the procurement of the Metre. “The Metre is unavailable,” the officers in charge will tell you. And it is not impossible that the government has become helpless as far as the pre-paid Metre is concerned, despite setting up endless committees on the matter. And so the rape of the citizens continues.
And to rub salt on the injury, the thievery marketers often issue threat of disconnection if you do not pay on time. What the hell is going on with PHCN and its massively corrupt machinery?