Edo Civil Society Organisations,(EDOCSO), has called on the federal government to revoke the license of Benin Electricity Distribution Company,(BEDC) according to reports reaching the Independent Energy Watch Initiative (IWIN)
EDOCSO which had earlier called for the sack of the entire management team of BEDC, also called for the revocation during a protest that grounded activities at the company’s headquarters in Benin city last Monday.
The activists said they came out to the street over what they “viewed as oppression and intimidation” of citizens and poor service delivery despite ‘outrageous’ bill charged consumers within the company’s area of coverage.
According the spokesperson, EDOCSO, Comrade Osazee Edigin, “The issues raised are the issuance of estimated and outrageous bills, deliberate non-supply of meters, high handedness, disrespect for customers, coersion of communities to procure equipment and the use of military personnel to brutalise citizens over electricity bills.
“Edo Civil Society Organisations in 2016 through their lawyer, Barrister Toluwani Adebiyi secured a judgment against the 11 Distribution Companies across the country and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission,(NERC) to the effect that there should be a reversal of tariff because the process of increment did not pass through legal procedures; they have since refused to obey the court judgment.” Comrade Edigin added.
Contacted via his mobile number, BEDC’s Public Affairs Manager, Mr. Tayo Adekunle, said, “the protests was unnecessary and a pure disturbance of public peace, because the issues raised by the civil society are not new, they are already in the public domain, more importantly, they are being addressed.
“The only one that actually looks like the main issue is the disconnection of one Innocent Okpara who is a customer under our Ekae Business district.
“The customer in question is owing electricity bills to the tune of N84,000 and has been disconnected several times, yet he keep connecting himself illegally to the network.”
Mr Adekunle however added, “Concerning the issue of military to brutalize their member, there is no iota of truth in that; if they have evidence, let them put it in the public domain.”