At last! Jakande Estate residents get prepaid meters
By Felix Kuyinu
The over three years struggle by residents at Jakande Estate, Oke Afa for the provision of prepaid meters has yielded positive result as Ikeja Electric (IE) has started metering some of the buildings in the area, while others line up for the exercise.
The residents had staged series of protests against the distribution company over estimated billing system which the claimed did not commensurate with what they were supplied for consumption.
During many of the protests, they had condemned the outrageous electricity bills by the IE to the area, demanded prepaid meters and warned the company against estimated billings.
The residents also noted that there were meetings with the electricity distribution company during those times and that all attempts to get their request granted proved futile as IE refused to give cogent reason for not metering them, thereby making the two parties to always be at loggerheads.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman of the community’s Estate Youths Pacesetters, Hon. Yusuf Adeyemi, said the compromising and positive results have given him and his fellow residents a respite.
He noted: “The prepaid metre issue has been a long one in the Estate, alongside occurrence of an epileptic power supply. We called for meetings in the Estate to sensitize one another on how to end the situation.
“It’s over three years since we started the talking about the issue with the Ikeja Electric management and they have always refused to meter us, giving us excuses every now and then. But recently, we have had lots of struggles with them and now they really know that we are not small, we are very big to them now and they’ve recognized us. We usually threaten them through mails and other social media we know of to make sure that we get metered.”
Speaking on the ongoing metering exercise, Adeyemi said: “The metering is going on. About seven out of the 40 zones in the community have been metered. But the residents have made complains that those sent by the IE to meter the houses in the area are requesting for money from them. Some of the residents claimed that they were told to pay as much as N25,000 which they find unacceptable.
“We, the Pacesetters group, thought that some people in Nigeria usually have the mindset of getting something because they are doing something for people, and with that idea, we had a meeting in which I wasn’t present due to my political involvement to agree to pay these people the sum of N1,000 per flat which are six in number in a building of over 500 in the Estate.
“We have also planned to hold a community walk-out in order to sensitize our residents to pay this fee in order to be fully metered peacefully and on time. Even though the IE has told us not to pay any money to those handling the metering, saying that metering is free in the country, we have decided to do that so as to have, as I said, a peaceful metering without violence and distraction to the people handling the metering in Jakande Estate.”
Concerning those yet to be metered in the area, Adeyemi appealed to them to be calm as they would also get their meters soon.
In another development, the residents of Coker area of Ejigbo have made a distress call to Ikeja Electric (IE) not to abandon them in blackout following three weeks of power supply disruption due to faulty transformer in the area without any sign of being repaired.
The residents stated that since the transformer in the area got faulty, the electricity officials are yet to visit the area to begin the repairing process.
Echonews gathered that three cables were damaged due to the situation.