A Communique Issued At The End Of The Town Hall Meeting Towards Resolving the Prepaid Meter Injustice On The Suffering Masses In Osun State.
HELD ON TUESDAY, 23RD FEBRUARY 2021, AT NMA HOUSE, GBONGAN – IBADAN ROAD, OSOGBO, OSUN STATE.
The Town Hall Meeting towards resolving the Electricity Prepaid Meter Injustice on the Suffering Masses in Osun State was organized by Urban Alert – a civic initiative that leverages technology to amplify the voices of the Suffering Masses. The event which was attended by some of the complainants, the Speaker – Osun State House of Assembly, a member of the Senate Committee on Power, regional officials of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Public Complaints Commission (PCC), Civil Society Organizations and the Media dissected many issues surrounding the non-issuance of prepaid meters to the masses who paid Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) between 2015 and 2017.
At the meeting, several questions were directed at the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) on the reasons for their continual refusal to deliver Prepaid Meters to those who paid for it. Miss Kikelomo Owoeye, the Regional Communication Officer of IBEDC listed changes in forex rate, distribution policies and fraud during payment as some of the associated reasons for the non-issuance of the meters.
The Public Complaints Commission’s commissioner in charge of Osun State, Barr. Ganiyu Olatoye lamented that his commission has received hundreds of prepaid meter complaints from the general public, and IBEDC was contacted many times with little or no positive outcome.
The Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly – Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye and a member of the Senate Committee on Power – Senator Francis Fadahunsi (represented by Hon. Funmiso Barinde) affirmed the need for the people to get value for their money in order to have a society devoid of cheating and corruption. Highlighting that IBEDC may also have the problem they are facing, Rt. Hon. Owoeye emphasized that it is important for the electricity distribution company to deliver meters that the masses paid for.
With 969 people that has been documented to be facing the problem of non-issuance of Prepaid Meter in Osun State, Urban Alert’s Program Officer – Mr. Ladeji Alabi expressed that after five years of making payment, the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) do not have any excuse for making the people pass through financial, mental and emotional havoc.
At the end of the Town Hall Meeting, documents containing 765 evidence of payment which has been verified by Urban Alert was handed over to Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), with the plea that the 765 verified complainants should receive their meters within the next four weeks.
The meeting which was supported by Connected Development (CODE), Citizens Gavel, Rave 91.7FM, Jacques Technology, Nigeria Medical Association – Osun State and Justice Development & Peace Makers’ Center ended with complainants in high hope that they would receive their meters in few weeks.
Thousands of affected masses would have loved to join the event physically, but attendance was limited due to Covid 19 protocols. Unbelievably, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was absent at the meeting despite two invitation letters sent to their Abuja, head office and their Osogbo Forum Office.