Royal Gardens Estate Residents Demand End to Bulk Metering

Olivia Pressman
3 Min Read
Royal Gardens Estate Residents Demand End to Bulk Metering

Residents of Royal Gardens Estate along the Lekki-Epe Expressway in Ajah, Lagos State, protested on Thursday against what they described as exorbitant and unjust service charges imposed by their estate developer, Trojan Estates.

Led by the estate executives, the residents demanded accountability and transparency from the estate developer and manager in determining annual service charges. They also called for the discontinuation of bulk metering, which they claimed caused frequent power supply disconnections in the estate.

During the peaceful protest, residents expressed concerns over high service and maintenance charges and the frequent disconnection of power supply due to the use of a single bulk meter for the entire estate.

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had previously agreed to eliminate bulk billing for residential customers and replace it with individual metering and billing, following numerous complaints of indiscriminate billing by Nigerians.

Anthony Ogbebor, the estate chairman, stated that despite NERC’s agreement to eliminate bulk billing, the practice had not ceased. Instead, it had evolved into a more expensive and upgraded format, causing frequent power disconnections and increased charges.

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“We want our demands to be met. Since the agreement by NERC to eliminate bulk billing for residential customers and replace it with individual metering and billing, the practice has not stopped. Instead, it only experiences a more rebranded and constantly upgraded format of exorbitant charges, including constant disconnection of the power supply,” Ogbebor said.

Another resident, identified simply as Wigle, criticized the bulk metering as unfairly used against them, stating, “We don’t want bulk metering anymore. It is being unfairly used against us. Apart from your normal fee, the levy imposed on each resident will be an average of N1.2m per annum. This is an extra cost, and we feel that if we have individual metering, this may not be the case. So, we feel the bulk metering is being used as a weapon against the residents.”

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Former estate executive member, Henry Onaga, outlined additional demands made by the residents, including the removal of bulk metering, the commencement of individual metering, the execution of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the estate promoters and residents, and the addressing of heightened insecurity within the estate.

Efforts to reach the manager of Trojan Estates, Kunle Tinubu, were unsuccessful as calls to his phone did not connect, and a text message sent to him remained unanswered at the time of filing this report.

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