Youths protest against outage, allege extortion by Kaduna Disco
Agrieved youths in their hundreds yesterday blocked the Yakowa express way and matched through other neighbouring communities to protest against the frequent outage and alleged extortion by officials of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO).
The protesters also blocked the road linking Sabon-Tasha, Narayi and other areas in the town, causing heavy traffic jam.
Some of the youths who spoke with journalists said they have reported the problem of outage and extortions to the management of KEDCO, adding that nothing was done to address the issues, thereby forcing them to demonstrate to get the attention of the state government.
“We want our governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, to intervene. We have been suffering in silence here at Janruwa and other areas within our community.”
“Kaduna Electricity workers only come to collects bills without giving light. This is the highest level of extortion,” a community member who spoke under condition of anonymity lamented.
The protesters said: “Some residents are billed between N10,000- N20,000 monthly. We have been experiencing this increment since February this year when tariff hike was announced. We complained, but nothing changed, instead it went up. Each room now pays between N2,000-N4,000 from previous N200-N500.”
Officials of KEDCO while reacting to allegations of over-billing however, said the billing system is in line with what was approved by the regulatory body.
The Head of Communications, KEDCO, Alhaji Abdulazeez Abdullahi, who spoke on the allegations against the electricity company said: “You know privatisation is in place and distribution and generation companies are no longer owned by government. It means for us in the distribution arm of the chain, we have to buy this energy from transmission company and sell it to the public, and we don’t have any respite for anybody than to pay for the energy before you even connect it.”