Thursday, 15 March 2018

Landlords in Ekiti protest against electricity ‘crazy bills’

Landlords in Ekiti protest against electricity 'crazy bills' lailasnews 2

Landlords across the Ekiti State capital, Ado Ekiti have protested against what they consider as exorbitant bills being allocated to them by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC)

Acting under the aegis of Ado Ekiti Landlords and Ladies Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria (ALLECA), the protesters took over Ado-Ikere Road, accusing the distribution company (DISCO) of ripping them off.

The placard-carrying protesters, who were from various parts of the state capital, expressed anger that BEDC officials were allegedly demanding N40,000 before giving them prepaid meters.

They also accused BEDC officials of “mercilessly extorting” them under various guises.

Some of them wondered why electricity bills were brought to houses that had long been disconnected and places that had been experiencing blackouts for months.

Led by ALLECA Chairman, Dr. Ibukun Ogundipe, the placard-carrying protesters marched from Okeyinmi Roundabout before berthing at BEDC office in Ajilosun.

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,” among others.

The protest was supervised by officers of the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Department of State Services (DSS) to prevent it from being hijacked by hoodlums.

Addressing the rally, 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 added:

“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.”

Ogundipe said the BEDC management had indicated interest in dialogue with the group, saying:

“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.

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