Electricity consumers in Ekiti State have threatened to drag the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to court over what they termed “outrageous and killing’ bills being slammed on them.
The consumers operating under the aegis of the Ekiti State Landlords Electricity Consumers’ Association, the body threatened to seek redress in court.
They ordered the company to make available to them pre-paid meters to end the regime of extortion and arbitrary bills being imposed on the residents of the state.
The consumers in a statement signed by its Chairman, Deacon Ibukun Ogundipe and Pastor Seye C.O. and others made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Friday directed all the landlords in the state to be paying N3, 000 monthly charges until the prepaid meters that will ensure accurate reading of electricity consumed by the people are provided by the company.
Revealing that their lawyer had been directed to file a suit against BEDC over the pain they are subjecting the people to they urged the Consumer Protection Agency to call the company to order in the interest of the public.
The statement reads: “This association has met severally on the unimaginable and wicked exploitation through outrageous and arbitrary billing of all electricity consumers who do not have prepaid meters in Ado Ekiti and environs.
“Electricity generation and distribution no doubt, is the fulcrum on which any national development rest upon. Since the management of BEDC commence operation in Ekiti, we have observed the following that:
“Today, because many of us don’t have prepaid, the commonest bill now ranges between N10, 000 and N18,000 per month, even for one room apartment. , this is unacceptable and we reject this totally.
“The outrageous billing does not in any way match the epileptic power supply of electricity, which has caused incalculable damage to our electrical appliances.
“We have realized that all the communities maintain the electricity installations and replace components of transformers stolen by vandals . Each community has committed millions in this regard.
“We have decided to mobilize the entire people of Ado Ekiti in an unprecedented protest to carry out indefinite picketing on BEDC premises until out case is looked into,” it said.
In his reaction, the BEDC Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Mr Kayode Brown, said the company has not circumvent the regulations of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) on electricity distribution, saying the pre-paid meters at their disposal had been allocated to consumers appropriately.