Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart and former Delta State governorship candidate, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, says t the poor performance of the Benin Electric Distribution Company (BEDC) is a threat to development in the state.
Onuesoke traced BEDC epileptic power supply, high estimated billings, abandonment of its responsibilities to consumers and workers’ non-challant attitude towards consumers as some of the causes of the economic underdevelopment in the state.
Onuesoke made the statement while addressing journalists in office in Warri, Delta State on Friday.
He said no industry or economic investment could survive in the state with the way and manner BEDC was operating without effective power supply.
“They are failing us. There is no 24 hours power supply in Warri and environs. BEDC should be reviewed. We should not pretend about it.
“There is nothing any governor in the South South can do about it. If the government depends on BEDC’s power supply for development, it will be disappointed,” he warned.
The PDP chieftain complained about BEDC’s high estimated bill which, according to him, has killed small and medium scale ventures in the state.
“The high rate of disbursement of estimated bill is killing the industries and other investments in Delta State.
“Just imagine pure water factory paying N500, 000 or bottle water factory paying over N1m for monthly electricity bill.
“If we want to move this state forward, we must review the activities of BEDC in Delta State,” he advised.
He further noted that BEDC has abandoned its responsibility of maintaining and servicing its damaged and faulty equipment to customers in a way of making them to buy electric poles, cables and repairs of faulty transformers in their environs.
According to him, customers have been forced to buy transformers and subjected to all forms of illegal collections and payments through estimated bills by the company.
“The people are suffering in darkness. Most small businesses are folding up because of poor services, epileptic electricity supply and high estimated bills.
“You could imagine where there is a natural disaster caused by heavy wind, rain or flood, BEDC will ask the people in the area to contribute money for replacement of the poles, buying of cables, repairs of transformers and even pay their workers that earn monthly salaries workmanship.
“Despite all these, the power supply is still very epileptic. The oppression from BED is becoming something else,” Onuesoke lamented.
He alleged that BEDC has also refused to supply pre-paid meters, which customers have paid for, but still distribute estimate bills, noting that officials of the company were in the habit of disconnecting wires, which they cart away and only supply same upon payment of reconnection fees.
The PDP Chieftain consequently appealed to the Federal Government to evolve an arrangement that will give consumers the right to choose which DISCO to connect to.
“The power situation is very bad. I had suggested that the Power Minister should put in place a system where consumers can alternatives on which power company to do business with if one does not work well,” he recollected.