Electricity: Ogun supports bill to criminalize crazy billings


FILE PHOTO: Residents protesting crazy electricity bills.


FILE PHOTO: Residents protesting crazy electricity bills.

Adejoke Adeleye/Abeokuta

Ogun State government has expressed its support for the bill that will criminalise electricity distribution companies’ estimated billing being proposed by the National Assembly.

Consultant to Governor Ibikunle Amosun on Power and former lawmaker Olusegun Bolanle Gbeleyi, made this known to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.

Gbeleyi, a senatorial aspirant in Ogun West Senatorial District, described the move as a good thing, saying it would go a long way in improving the power sector in Ogun State.

Gbeleyi explained that the bill would protect Nigerians’ right as customers as well as make power providers more accountable and responsible.

According to him, in England the customers have the right to sue the service provider if the service provider failed to inform them about power outage and in return damage their things.

“I truly subscribe to it (bill) and support it. It will protect customers from estimated billing and also make service providers more accountable and responsible. In England, the customers have the right to sue the service providers as granted by the law if they take electricity without informing them and it spoilt their food stuff”.

“Likewise, the service providers can sue customers if they bypass meters or steal their meter, it is vice-versa. It should be imputed in the bill”.

He lamented the maintenance culture of the power sector, saying some of the distribution cables, lines are “archaic and old” and this is really affecting the sector.

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“The distribution lines are archaic, old. Only God knows when they have done it. In England, Manchester precisely they are changing from their underground pipelines because they are rotten and they can cause poison but here we don’t have that culture. All the cables and lines have life span.

“We need those who are committed to be in government and channel the resources to where necessary and this is good for Nigeria,” he stated.

The former lawmaker maintained that the liberalisation of the power sector through the independent power provider has reduced pressure on the national grid.

Gbeleyi who is a member of the British Association of Journalists was optimistic about improvement in power supply in the country.

He assured that within 18 to 24 months there would be much improvement in the electricity supply in the country.

He also advocated for a parliamentary system of government, which he said, gives room for more accountability in government than the presidential system.

On his political ambition, he said he is in the race to consolidate on the rebuilding mission of the present administration in the state, adding that he would use his international connections for the benefit of the state.

“I want to use my position in the Senate to consolidate on the rebuilding mission of this administration, unlock opportunities for the youth, for women empowerment and for social welfare to the elderly. I want to be in the forefront of legislation that will benefit the good people of Ogun West,” he said.

He revealed further that if the governor picked his successor from his local government, he would sacrifice his ambition and support the fellow.