We are watching with awe the macabre dance and ignominious development referred to as Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria, especially the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) that has absolutely crumbled the social and economic activities in Ile-Oluji and its environs.
It is a fact that Ile-Oluji is a renowned hub of commercial activities and a citadel of learning, but the situation in the town is irreversibly bad as power outage extends to months and, this is the same community where estimated bills are monthly posted and paid by the customers while the Cocoa Industry (Ile-Oluji) Limited daily has twenty hours of uninterrupted supply.
Power supply in Nigeria, diminished, recently, BEDC gave poor and useless power that wasn’t brighter than candlelight and as usual, gave excuses of technical fault. It is criminal in nature for the BEDC management to impose arbitrary levies on the customers on cables and transformers vandalisation or damage because it is the sole responsibility of the company to fashion out the mode of equipment maintenance and sustenance in terms of equipment protecting measures. Moreover, Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) has not helped matters as it intermittently concocted various degrees of fallacies to back up poor operations and deceive gullible customers. Estimated billing methodology is a designed captivity and had worsened customers’ plights. This is impunity. Drawing of crazy bills is the vogue when pre-paid meters are rotting away in the BEDC headquarters, in Benin-city.
In terms of increase in tariff, Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos sanctioned and ordered NERC to revert to the former tariff and restrained it from further increasing tariff unless it complies strictly with the relevant provisions of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2015 which they are yet to satisfy.
In conclusion, the act of fleecing customers through estimated bills, arbitrary levies of purchasing vandalised cables and transformers will be contested in the law court soon. And, we are fully-prepared to go on the streets to protest hoarding of pre-paid meters. The Federal Government should accelerate the process of invoking the operation licenses of these operators. I wonder how the government agency came about the statistics of economy improvement without stable power supply.
Comrade Temidayo Akingbola,