Sometime in September 2019, the residents of Lafiaji-Lekki area of Lagos State were approached by the Managing Director of a company named “Dunmak Power Engineering Company” with the claim that his company now represents Eko Electric Distribution Company (EKEDC) and that Dunmak could supply the neighbourhood with a minimum21 hours of electricity, daily.
The company then presented a letter of Introduction from the managing Director of EKEDC (Mr. Adeoye Fadebiyi)dated 9th October 2019 to add some legitimacy to their claims.
Confused, the residents of the area which consists of a cluster of mostly hotels and residential Estates asked several questions bothering on Dunmak’s capacity to deliver as boasted and the nature/orgin of its relationship with EKEDC but no satisfactory answer were ever provided.
The Company claimed it was an investor in the power infrastructure in the neighbourhood and that it had spent over 500 million Naira in the area and that this arrangement was a part of the Federal Governments WILLING BUYER, WILLING SELLER Power scheme. All efforts to get the Company to prove this claim also yielded no results.
In bizarre circumstances, In a letter dated 28th October and received on 30th October 2019, Dunmak Power Limited wrote to all properties in the area stating that it had introduced a new electricity billing of N50 per kilowatt/Hour as against the NERC/FG approved 29.5 naira per Kilowatt/Hour.
All of a sudden, Dunmark claiming to have a legitimate agreement from the Residents association of the neighbourhood proceeded in November 2019 to issue all residents of the area power bills at the rate of 50 Naira/kWh and gave the neighbourhood a new account number to make payments into.
EKEDC did not send any bills to residents of the area since November till date as they would usually do. Upon receiving the strange bill, some Estates and businesses within the area immediately wrote back to DUNMAK on 31st October refuting such spurious claim of executing a purported power contract with them and demanding their bills from EKEDC.
The estates proceeded to make payments as usual into the approved EKEDC accounts which didn’t go down well with the Company reps who then proceeded to threaten the residents that they will be disconnected from the grid and kept in perpetual blackout for not paying them as instructed.
Tyranny indeed persists when good men sit and do nothing.
If someone had told me that in 2019, a Nigerian company can usurp the powers and duties of EKEDC, illegally inflate electricity bills astronomically and do so with the backing of EKEDC, I wouldn’t have believed.
It is appalling that in a democratic country like Nigeria, in a cosmopolitan city like Lagos that a company when questioned about services can resort to the old blackmail of disconnection.
It is quite disconcerting that some estates in the area that used to pay an average of N3.8m monthly for electricity consumption are now be charged N7, 000,000.00 (seven Million Naira) monthly for power.
Investigations from one of the affected Estates in the neighbourhood showed that the first bill received from Dunmak for the month of November was in the sum of 6.5m (six million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) as against 3.5 million Naira official rate.
The December bill which followed in quick succession was an outrageous N14m. This Estate wrote to EKEDC demanding their actual power bills which had not been sent to them since November 2019 and they complied and sent them their power bill at the approved Government rate but not without threats of limiting power to their neighbourhood for daring to challenge DUNMAKs bill.
Since this fiasco, the Residents of the area have been threatened, intimidated and harassed insulted by even officials of EKEDC particularly one NOSA IGBINEDION of Agungi EKEDC office. The issue of threat of disconnection and indeed isolation was tested when the residents were maliciously and wickedly refused electricity for 2 whole days.
Could this be an attempt by Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc to defraud its unsuspecting customers or is Dunmak on a frolic of its own?
The willing buyer, willing seller initiative by the Federal Government, subsists only to assure electricity for all. When the willing buyer, willing seller initiative becomes willing seller, forced, bullied or compelled buyer situation, anarchy becomes imminent. The willing buyer, willing seller program said nothing about Discos selling power at above FG approved MYTO rate. Private investigations into the FG approved list of vendors for the scheme did not show this company is one of them.
Residents of Lafiaji have been harassed, intimidated, coerced and bullied by Dunmak Power Engineering Company with the full support of EKEDC. Today, we say no more shall we seat and allow the oppression of EKEDC hiding behind its protégé Dunmak to persist In furtherance to their threat of a total blackout and complete isolation of an entire community of over 5000 residents.
Word reaching the residents of the area is that EKEDC has procured a device known as “AUTO RECLOSERS” that will be used by EKEDC to isolate the area and put them in perpetual darkness while our neighbour’s like VGC and Ikate enjoy electricity making it seem like there is an issue on their line.
Investigation also shows that this neighbourhood are not in debt to EKEDC and have never been.
It is suffice to say that EKEDC is willing to dent the income of the Federal Government (which is a major share holder in all DISCO’s) by reducing the amount of power that is sold to an area just because they refuse to pay above the Government approved rate for power to an unknown company without proof/verification from the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
EKEDC AND DUNMAK ENGINEERING COMPANY MUST BE STOPPED NOW.
Residents of the neighbourhood are demanding to know;
Who is DUNMAK POWER ENGINEERING COMPANY and whats its relationship with EKEDC?
Are they a part of the Federal Governments WILLING BUYER, WILLING SELLER scheme?
Why will EKEDC support a third party Company to over-charge residents for power without reason?
The 500 million Naira allegedly spent by said company in the area was spent on what as no new transformers, lines, or power infrastructure can be seen in the area apart from those that have been in the area for over 8 years.
Is the Federal Government (NERC) aware of this?