Prepaid meters happens to be the simplest form of paying bills. From water, gas and electricity. It is carried out through the use of credit cards and it is used until the units are finished or expired.
The practice of prepaid metering is not new today in Cross River State as most homes now use it to pay their electricity and water bills. But it is a thing of pity that in the Central and Northern parts of Cross River State, people still use the traditional method of reading bills by a staff of the electricity agency, resulting to estimated bills on the residents of the area.
And one very disturbing aspect of these estimated bills by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) is that they do not provide electricity but at the end of each month they bring sky-rocketed bills for residents to pay.
It is now important that homes in Cross River Central and North be introduced to prepaid meters as it would afford them the opportunity of enjoying the value of their money rather than paying bills for electricity they do not see or use.
One very important aspect of the prepaid meter is that it is pay as you go. Once the customer loads the credit unit, it starts running and if there is no electricity it stops and you can regulate the number of units used in your home by putting off points.
The residents of Cross River North and Central are suffering. Even when these local inhabitants do not have money to carter for their bills they still get astronomical bills. Recently it can be recalled that the people of Ogoja locked up the PHED office in Ogoja because of hike in bills and lack of electricity which resulted in over two months of black out in Ogoja and it’s neighboring towns.
The people of Cross River North and Central are peasant farmers, they can not afford to pay these huge bills, estimated bills given to them by the PHED. It is so wicked and annoying that most times they pay as much as 10, 000 naira for a small flat and most times a small bedroom goes for 3,000 naira a month as light bill. It is sheer wickedness to give such and astronomical bill without electricity.
The time has come for prepaid meters to be introduced in most parts of CRS. It is the only way forward right now in checkmating the ills carried out by PHED and their staff. Because customers get to enjoy the value of their money and when there is no electricity, the units are still untouched.
It is now important to note that the Cross River Ministry of Power, headed by Mr. Thomas Udam, sees to the installation and introduction of prepaid meters in every part of the state and at an affordable rate.
The people of Cross River State can not continue to pay huge bills without getting the true value of their money.
It is on this note that I call on the ministry of Power to make sure that every community, town and village in Cross River State is introduced to prepaid meters. It is broad day arm robbery to pay bills for services that are not given to you.
Prince Thomas Abi jr.
Is a Public Affairs Analyst/Social Commentator
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