‘Your Electric Bills, Disconnections Unlawful, Vexatious, Callous, Unacceptable’, Enugu State Govt Slams EEDC

‘Your Electric Bills, Disconnections Unlawful, Vexatious, Callous, Unacceptable’, Enugu State Govt Slams EEDC

…Demands immediate metering of all MDAs in line with NERC Order

…Insists on forensic audit of inherited bills

…Requests retraction of malicious publication, refunds

The Enugu State Government has slammed the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, over its billing and disconnection of some of the state government’s offices, describing the actions as unlawful, malicious, callous, and vexatious.

It also faulted EEDC’s claim of government’s indebtedness to the company to the tune of N1.3bn, explaining that besides prompt payment of all electricity bills received from the EEDC since May 2023, the Governor Peter Mbah Administration had equally cleared two months backlog of debts in line with the governor’s commitment to offset all legitimate electricity debts inherited from his predecessors.

The government stated this in a letter to the EEDC Managing Director/CEO dated Tuesday, June 11, 2024 and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia.

The letter entitled, “Re: Notice of Disconnections to Indebted Customers and Actual Disconnections of Enugu State Government Offices”, reads in part, “Enugu State Government received the disconnection notice published in national daily newspapers. We have also received the information that EEDC has disconnected some Enugu State government institutions.

“We note that both the publication of notice of disconnections and the actual disconnections on Saturday 8th June, 2024 were based on wrong premises and total disregard to NERC rules and standing Order on estimated billing of Maximum demand customers.

“Accordingly, the state government notes as follows: That EEDC letter dated 7 June 2024 addressed to His Excellency the Governor of Enugu State that the outstanding electricity bill is N1,319,571,131.21.

“That the said outstanding electricity bills are estimated billing of Maximum demand agencies and parastatals of the state government carried over from the last administration as the current administration has diligently and promptly paid all bills received from May 2023 to date including 2 months from the carried over bill which it has shown commitment in good faith to settle.

“That NERC Order NO/NERC/197/2020 paragraph 13 subsection (a) states: ‘Any Maximum demand agencies and parastatals customer not provided with meter by 1 March 2017 shall not pay any electricity bills presented by a DisCo on the basis of estimated billing methodology and these customers are advised to report to the Commission.

“Paragraph 13 subsection (b) states No DisCo shall disconnect any Maximum demand agencies and parastatals customers that were not metered by 1March 2024 on the basis of the customer’s refusal to pay an invoice issued on the basis of estimated billing after the compliance deadline.”

Continuing, the government stated, “Considering the provisions of NERC Order, the recent disconnections of government offices, parastatals viz: College of Medicine ESUT Teaching hospital, Housing development corporation, State Secretariat, etc. is unlawful, callous and has inflicted malicious damages to the image and integrity of the state government. These acts are vexatious and completely unacceptable.”

“Therefore, the government demands detailed bills and the accounts statements/histories of the government agencies that make up the claimed state’s indebtedness to EEDC for forensic audit investigations.

“The government further demands immediate and total metering of al its agencies in line with NERC Order.”

In furtherance of the rights of the state government agencies, the government additionally demanded a refund of its electricity infrastructure investment from which it said EEDC had made so much money as well as a retraction of false claim of the state’s indebtedness to it, which government insists was defamatory.

“Following the NERC Order NO/197/2020, the government hereby notifies EEDC management that it will no longer pay any electricity bills based on the estimated billing methodology.

“The government notes that it has carried out electricity infrastructure intervention projects investment totaling N2,979,334,305.19 from which EEDC collects revenue. The government demands payments for the investment costs and other debts owed by EEDC to the government.

“Finally, the government demands immediate retraction of the malicious publication and immediate reconnection of all disconnected government agencies as the basis for a truce,” the government concluded.

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