Published On: Wed, Dec 1st, 2021

House Of Rep To Investigate BEDC Blackout, Sharp Practices In Two Urhobo Communities

LAGOS DECEMBER 1ST (URHOBOTODAY)-The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to investigate the persistent blackout and other sharp practices of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company BEDC over the prolonged balckout in Mosogar and Edjemouyawe Communities of Delta State caused by the company.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Hon. Ben.Rollands Ibakpa (Delta, PDP) on the matter on the floor of the House at plenary.
Ibakpa noted that for about seven years, major parts of Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State particularly Mosogar and Edjemudarho communities had been in total blackout as a result of total failure by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to discharge their duties in the distribution of power/electricity to the affected areas.
He also noted that BEDC promptly collect bills from customers but whenever there are technical issues or faults requiring their attention to fix their assets such as transformers, cables, poles etc. under their management and or control, the company abandons and or abdicates such responsibilities by compelling the customers to fix such faults or provide money to purchase it.
He said: “Aware that efforts at procuring transformer (Step-down) from the BEDC since 2015 did not yield fruit. In 2016, the BEDC in one of their memo to the community as a condition to bring a step-down transformer that could service the increase demands of electricity in the community due to expansion requested the communities to pay all their outstanding debt, which amounted to over N12,000,000.00 (Twelve Million Naira).
“However, despite the prompt payment thereof, the BEDC brought a substandard transformer with low capacity to the community and barely after 2 days of installation, the transformer gone off. Similarly in 2018, the state government brought another step down and this was reluctantly and improperly installed by the BEDC and immediately got damaged”.
The lawmaker said that the Community approached the Delta state government again sometime in 2020 and two units of 2.5 KVA transformers were approved for Mosogar and were divided into two sub-stations. As at the time the project was completed, the BEDC refused to energize the step downs but demanded for a reconnection fees of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) only. This money was paid by the Community but shortly after the BEDC installed the transformers, the crashed again.
He alo expressed worries noting that the leaders of the affected communities have made several efforts to work with the BEDC including payment of millions of naira to provide solution, yet no result as the BEDC have failed, refused and or neglected to creditably perform their responsibilities but have continued to rip the communities/consumers of millions of Naira through their illicit demands. This accounts for the failure of electricity supply being suffered by consumers of the affected communities over these years.
The Peoples Demeocratic Party PDP lawmaker said that the communities are pained by the years of power blackout have protested severally which has led to frequent blockade of major roads including federal highways.
He added that the Chairman and other officials of the local government were attacked and a December 24th, 2021 ultimatum demanding for the restoration of power to the affected communities was issued. This poses serious security challenge to the community and the road users.
According to him, Mosogar is home to the College of Physical Education an affiliate of some universities, a gate way to the Benin/Warri Expressway into the East/West Corridors and other critical state and federal governments’ infrastructures but with the perennial electricity challenges leading to total darkness for seven years now, the increased population and commerce of the area is being adversely affected with its security, economic and social implications.
He told the House that the management of the BEDC had failed woefully in the discharge of their obligations to electricity consumers in the affected communities and that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is complacent for its lack of proper supervision or initiation of performance bond to all DISCOs.
Consequently, the House presided by the Speaker Hon.Femi Gbajabiamila resolved to investigate the activites of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company BEDC.
The Speaker also invited the management of the BEDC and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for proper interaction to ascertain the root cause of the perennial lack of or total failure of electricity supply and or distribution to Mosogar, Edjemuoyavwe and other affected areas in Ethiope West LGA of Delta State with a view to finding a lasting solution.
House also asked that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission NERC should initiate a performance Audit on all DISCOs to either perform the terms of their obligation to Nigerians or close shop which will enable companies with the requisite capacities take over the Electricity distribution services in the country.
Chmapion Newspaper

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