Benin city – As the operational license of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) expires at the end of October 2018, the Edo Civil Society Organization (EDO CSOs) today rounded off a 3-Day protests against alleged plans by the federal government to extend it.
The organization which is a network of civil society groups in the state had staged similar protests in the past against the company’s failure to deliver on the agreement it entered into with the federal government in 2013.
The activists who displayed various placards with inscriptions chanting solidarity songs, called for “an end” to Funke Osibudu’s led management team over what they described as disregard for the rule of law.
The protest which took place from Monday 29th October till Wednesday 31st October was to draw the attention of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on the need “not to contemplate” the renewal of BEDC License, Spokesperson for the organization, Leftist Osazee Edigin said.
He stressed: “within the last 5-years, BEDC failed to provide pre-paid meters to consumers, extend the distribution network, improve customer service delivery and reduce power interruptions as well as deliver stable power to it coverage area of Edo, Ekiti, Ondo and Delta states.”
But, the electricity distribution company said there is nothing like an ongoing contract renewal for investors in the 11 DISCOs that covers the Six geo-political zones.
According to Tayo Adekunle who is the company’s Head of Corporate Affairs, the sale of BEDC by BPE to core investors is a once and for all transaction that resulted in 60% acquisition of the company with a long-term licensing and not a 5year license.
Meanwhile, the activists in solidarity joined National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) whose members today picketed the offices and headquarters of the electricity companies nationwide to protest what they described as anti people policies.
“We are here to picket Benin electricity distribution company for various policies that are against the workers of the company and of which we have notified them severally but we have not seen anything good from it”, a top official of the Union, Segun Babatunde told journalists.
The story with BEDC is not however different with other Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) operating in the country, as they have become a problem to many individuals, households and organisations who relied on their services.
Electricity consumers across the country however awaits in anticipation the next line of action by the federal government after midnight of 31st October 2018.
Source: Nigerian Observer
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)