By Concise News correspondents
Some Kaduna residents have cried out about the unbearable extortion being perpetrated against them by the staff of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), Concise News reports. This is coming despite the epileptic electricity supply by the Kano Disco.
The electricity consumers, mostly resident in Malumfashi Local Government Area of Katsina State, told the News Agency of Nigeria, in Malumfashi on Thursday that the situation had crippled business activities in the area.
Majority of respondents interviewed told newsmen that they hardly enjoy electricity supply for 72 hour in a month and yet the KEDCO bills them exorbitantly.
Alhaji Ado Giwa, Chairman of Welders Union in Malumfashi, told NAN that his members faced enormous challenges as their business relied on electricity.
Giwa said welders could not depend on KEDCO’s poor electricity supply as it does not meet their demand.
He said they spent much on maintenance and fueling of their respective power generating sets which reduces their earnings.
He added that in spite of the epileptic supply from KEDCO, they still received exorbitant fixed charges of about N15, 000 each month which was worrisome.
According to him, hand written bills are forwarded against the company’s practice, and KEDCO’s workers demand immediate payment or disconnection of the customers’ line.
He expressed optimism that people would pay if services matched the bills and urged stakeholders to intervene in the electricity supply challenge in Malumfashi.
Another welder, Muhammad Lawal, who owns Lugo Metal Works in Malumfashi, said he got N16, 000 bill in November as against N5, 000 bill he received previously despite non supply of power in the month.
Mrs Hassanat Busari, owner of Alhayat Superstore and popular Anonuwako Cold Store on BCGA road, said poor electricity supply had slowed down her business.
She said cold store business owners experienced poor patronage and yet KEDCO forwarded high bills each month.
Landlords, Alhaji Shamsu Hada and Awwalu Lurwan, said KEDCO charged them N24, 000 and N9, 000 last month respectively, describing the bills as outrageous compared to previous bills.
Chairman of Malumfashi Youths Development Association (MAYDA), Malam Ahmad Lara, told NAN that the association had complained on behalf of the public to KEDCO for intervention.
Lara said KEDCO charged individual houses between N4, 000, N5, 000 and N9, 000 in a month while businesses/shops and commercial entrepreneurs paid about N15, 000 estimated bills against previous billings of between N2,000 to N4,000 per house and N6, 000 for businesses/shops.
“It is surprising that in most times there will be electricity in villages and suburbs of Malumfashi while main town is in darkness and most of the electricity consumers in those villages do not have meters,’’ he said.
Efforts to get response from KEDCO in Malumfashi failed as officers said they were not authorized to entertain press inquiries.