Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain and former Delta State governorship candidate, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has slammed the Benin Electric Distribution Company (BEDC) over poor performance, saying the situation is a threat to the development of the state.
Onuesoke, however, traced BEDC’s epileptic power supply, high estimated billings, abandonment of their responsibilities to consumers and workers’ nonchalant attitude towards consumers as the causes of economic under-development in the state.
The PDP chieftain, who made the statement while addressing journalists in his office in Warri, Delta State, on Friday, said no industry or economic investment could survive in the state with the way and manner BEDC is operating without effective power supply.
“They are failing us. There is no twenty-four hours power supply in Warri and environs. BEDC should be reviewed. We should not pretend about it.
“There is nothing any governor in the South-South can do about it. If the government depends on BEDC power supply for development, it will be disappointed,” he warned.
He rued BEDC’s high estimated billing which, according to him, has killed small and medium-scale ventures in the state.
“The high rate of disbursement of estimated bills is killing the industries and other investments in Delta State. Just imagine a pure water factory paying N500,000 or bottle water factory paying over N1m for a monthly electricity bill.
“If we want to move this state forward, we must review the activities of BEDC in Delta state,” he advised.
He noted that BEDC has abandoned its responsibility of maintaining and servicing its damaged and faulty equipment to customers in a way of making them to buy polls, cables and foot the repairs of faulty transformers in their environs.
According to him, customers have been forced to buy transformers and subjected to all forms of illegal collections and payments through estimated bills by the company.
“The people are suffering in the darkness. Most small businesses are folding up because of poor services, epileptic electricity supply and high estimated bills.
“You could imagine where there is a natural disaster caused by heavy wind, rain or flood, BEDC will ask the people in the area to contribute money for replacement of the poles, buying of cables, repairs of transformer and even pay their workers that earn monthly salaries workmanship.
“Despite all that, the power supply is still very epileptic. The oppression from BEDC is becoming something else,” he lamented.
He alleged that BEDC has refused to supply pre-paid meters, which customers paid for, but still distributed estimate bills, noting that officials of the company were in the habit of disconnecting wires, which they cart away and only supply the same upon payment of reconnection fees.
The PDP Chieftain consequently appealed to the Federal Government to evolve an arrangement that will give consumers the right to choose which DISCO to connect to, noting: “The power situation is very bad. I had suggested that the Power Minister should put in place a system where consumers can choose which power company to do business with if one does not work well.”
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