Derin was excited. After months of searching, the young software engineer had found a 3-bedroom duplex in Maryland, Lagos. He and his flatmate spent all of February renovating the place - painting, fixing tiles, fumigating, changing the locks and so on.
By the end of February, the only appliances that he moved into the house were light bulbs and two rechargeable standing fans.
Yet, he was presented with an electricity bill of ₦60,000. His new neighbours- a family of five occupying a smaller house, got charged ₦33,000, even though they had air conditioners, kitchen appliances, televisions and other gadgets.
Derin is contesting the fee; it doesn’t seem like he has any choice but to pay it.
Many Nigerians can relate to Derin’s story. Estimated or “crazy billing” - is a practice that has infuriated people for years, because the country cannot provide meters to measure individual power usage.