Printer cries out over Ikeja Electric N1.3m debt
A man identified as Mustapha Yekeen has expressed his disapproval over the disconnection notice issued by an electricity distribution company, Ikeja Electric, after he was served an outstanding payment of N1,340,729.51, on November 8, in the Somolu area of Lagos State.
Mustapha, a printing press operator, was left in shock after he was informed of the outstanding debt on an account that bore his name on the customer details.
He claimed his name probably reflected on the accounts of two different customers but the Ikeja Electric officials have mandated the payment of the outrageous debt on his account.
Mustapha tsaid that he became an electricity consumer under Ikeja Electric in 2016 when he rented a shop at Somolu and he started using postpaid before switching to prepaid in 2018, while he settled all debts.
He said, “I rented a shop in 2016, then I noticed that there were owing on the meter after I saw the previous electricity bill for the building. So I decided to open a postpaid account and connected electricity separately from other shops.
“In 2018, I installed a prepaid meter and my previous debt was transferred to the prepaid meter, then I paid it because they made the payment easier by spreading the debt across 20 months.”
He said, recently, Ikeja Electric officials came to his office consecutively, informing him that there was an electricity bill with outstanding payment with his name reflected on the account.
He questioned the officials by enquiring “if a customer can have two accounts like that of a bank,” but his question was left unanswered, and he was given an option of paying 50 per cent of the over N 1.3m bill.
“I visited the Ikeja Electric Debt Management Office at Idi-Iroko to make a complaint, then I showed them all the electricity bills for both the postpaid and prepaid accounts, but one of their bosses insisted I pay at least 50 per cent of the debt since it is my name that is reflecting on that account.
“On Wednesday, a co-tenant brought another disconnection notice given to him by Ikeja Electric officials with an outstanding payment of N1,340,739.51 with my name on it. He said they threatened to come to our shop to disconnect electricity from the whole building soon. I learnt the account is abandoned, but I am curious to know why my name is reflecting on it,” Mustapha added.
Mustapha filed a petition against Ikeja Electric over the outrageous bill on November 17, but he has not received any feedback since then, which has made him worried.
When contacted, the Spokesperson for Ikeja Electric, Kingsley Okotie, said it is an operational issue and there are operational processes to approach it.
“It is an allegation and we have to investigate, but if it is a valid debt, then he is owing. He should have made a formal complaint and followed the procedure, not necessarily the media. Let him send a copy of the petition and include all his contact details to me, so we can work on it,” Okotie stated.