Fred Itua, in Benin
Aggrieved customers of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) have called on the Federal Government to revoke the operating licence of the firm.
The customers, who lamented the epileptic power supply in the four states under BEDC, also criticised what they described as the
inhuman face of the BEDC management.
The customers drawn from Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states, vented their frustrations during a town hall meeting with the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy in Benin. The committee is headed by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Abaribe, who led four other senators, namely Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Suleiman Hunkuyi, James Manager and Ahmed Ogembe on an oversight visit, promised to look into concerns raised by the aggrieved customers.
On the issue of whether or not the Senate committee will recommend a revocation of BEDC’s licence, Abaribe said the relevant agencies were already looking into that.
He, however, vowed that the Senate will not allow distribution companies, including BEDC, to shortchange Nigerians. He insisted there must be value for money and also called on the management to ensure the concerns of customers are immediately addressed.
Abaribe said: “We decided to hold a forum, here, because of the volume of petitions we’ve received. If we want Nigeria better, let us make those who should be held responsible to do that. We cannot blame one side.
“Transition Company of Nigeria (TCN) said it doesn’t have money to carry repairs of faulty generation lines. TCN is owned by the Federal Government. If the Federal Government doesn’t give them money, who do we blame?
“We are going to a point where anybody who has the money to bring in metres, should come in, and we can do business. What I’ve seen is the issue of poor services. The Nigerian electricity markets breeds
difficulty for everybody. What we are looking for is solution.”
An aggrieved customer, who spoke on behalf of others, in his earlier remarks, said: “What we pay for in Benin and other states is darkness. BEDC has shortchanged us. We don’t want them to operate again. Let the Federal Government revoke their licence and give it to a company that has the capacity.