By: Ade Adeleke
Civil Society groups and residents of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states under the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) franchise area took to the streets of Benin City being the country’s Independence Day commemoration to demand the termination of the licence issued to the power company due to its poor service delivery to customers in the four states.
Their agitations are coming ahead of the performance review of the DISCOs by the Federal government come December, 2019 when their licences would have come to an end.
The government had recently noted the need to handle the distribution of electricity in the hands of competent companies seeing the present DISCOs especially BEDC have failed to deliver in respect of the performance agreement entered with the federal government in November, 2013.
In October, 2018, same protests were initiated against the extension of the operational licence of the BEDC which was debunked by the Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises, who surreptitiously added another year that is said to terminate in December, 2019.
Pix: During October 1, 2019 Rally.
Speaking during the mega protest, Leftist Osazee Edigin, Public Relations Officer, Edo Civil Society Organisations said “we use this mega rally to remind Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari) of the December, 2019 deadline of the performance review and the collective voice of the people of the BEDC franchise states kicking against the renewal of their licence upon expiration.”
BEDC is also accused of frustrating customers from getting repaid metres, imposing estimated billing.
Edigin noted that “the body languages of BPE and NERC have become questionable hence they cannot be trusted. Their actions look compromised in recent past.”