– Landlords in Ekiti protested exorbitant bills from BEDC
– The landlord accused the elecctricity company of billing house with not power supply
– The protest was supervised by officers of the Nigeria Police to avoid hoodlums hijacking it
Home owners in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state, on Wednesday, March 14, stormed the streets to protest for several hours against what they refered to as exorbitant bills from the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
The protesters under the aegis of Ado Ekiti Landlords and Ladies Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria (ALLECA) claimed that the BEDC officials were allegedly demanding N40,000 before giving them prepaid meters.
The Nation reports that the protesters carrying placard to register their complaints were escorted by the police to prevent touts from hijacking the protest.
Some of their placards read: “BEDC, Supply Prepaid Meters”; “No To Crazy Bills”; “No To Epileptic Power Supply”; “BEDC, Your Cunning Acts Must Stop”; “No To Candlelight Power Outage”; “Stop Extorting Us, BEDC Staff are Thieves”; “Our Rights Are Prepaid Meters, Give Us Now” and “Chop and Die BEDC, which account is N15,000 Bill per Month Going.”
ALLECA chairman, Dr. Ibukun Ogundipe said it was wrong for BEDC to = give between N13,000 and N18,000 bills to a three-bedroom bungalow when power supply lasted for about two or three hours daily.
He said: “Pursuant to the inability of BEDC to meet our first demand, we shall henceforth start paying N3,000 per month as our legitimate bill without any regard to whatever figure or amount posted on our bills.
“Our lawyers have been briefed to take appropriate legal action to challenge these unmitigated pains on every electricity consumer in Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti in particular.”
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“Legal action will be deployed if dialogue fails.
“Anywhere across the world, prepaid meters remain the best way to measure the actual amount of megawatts consumed and Ekiti case can’t be different.”
BEDC spokesman Kayode Brown said the company generates 9,500 megawatts (MW) of electricity for Ekiti with daily electricity supply of between eight and 12 hours. This, he said, pushed the tariffs upward.
Brown said: “The protest is a legitimate right, but payment of N3,000 monthly electricity bill doesn’t correspond with what we offer.
“This is the amount we were charging when the megawatts supply to Ekiti was 4,500, but it has doubled now.”
Dismissing the allegation that the company was requesting for money before supplying prepaid meters, Brown said: “Some of these consumers are owing as much as N100,000.”
“We asked them to pay certain percentage before applying, but they refused. How do we get money to buy when they are not ready to pay?”
NAIJ.com earlier reported that a new class of operators have been introduced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); and this is expected to increase the supply of prepaid meters, The Cable reports.
The development was made public by NERC’s commissioner, legal, licensing and compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, at the 25th monthly power sector meeting which took place in Uyo, on Monday, March 12.
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