- Ekiti Landlords Protest Outrageous Billing by BEDC
The Ekiti State Landlords Electricity Consumers’ Association has declared a war on the Benin Electricity Distribution Company over “outrageous and killing” tariffs being imposed on its members.
The landlords accused the BEDC of deliberately hoarding prepaid meters in order to cheat the consumers so that “they can keep bringing concocted and outrageous electricity bill.”
In a statement made available to journalists and signed by its Chairman, Dr. Ibukun Ogundipe, and Pastor Seye Ojo, the association directed all the landlords in the state to be paying N3, 000 monthly charges until the prepaid meters were provided.
It said it had directed its lawyer to file a suit against the BEDC over this ‘unmitigated pain’ its members had been encountering through the company’s operations, urging the Consumer Protection Agency to caution the company in the interest of the public.
The statement partly read, “This association has met severally on the unimaginable and wicked exploitation through outrageous and arbitrary billing of all electricity consumers who do not have prepaid meters in Ado Ekiti and its environs.
“Electricity generation and distribution no doubt, is the fulcrum on which any national development rests upon. Since the management of BEDC commenced operation in Ekiti, we have observed the following.
“Today, because many of us don’t have prepaid meters, the commonest bill now ranges from N10, 000 to N18,000 per month, even for one room apartment. This is unacceptable and we reject this totally.
“The outrageous billing does not in any way match the epileptic power supply which has caused incalculable damage to our electrical appliances.
“We have realised that all the communities maintain the electricity installations and replace components of transformers stolen by vandals . Each community has committed millions in this regard.
“We have decided to mobilise the entire people of Ado Ekiti in an unprecedented protest to carry out indefinite picketing on BEDC premises until out case is looked into,” it stated.
But the BEDC Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Mr. Kayode Brown, said the company had not circumvented the regulations of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission on electricity distribution, saying the pre-paid meters in the company’s disposal had been allocated appropriately.
“You can’t hoard what you don’t have. We have exhausted what we have received so far to the targeted categories,” he said.