Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has condemned the N750 monthly fixed charge being collected by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) from its customers, saying that “it amounts to extortion and exploitation.”
Oshiomhole, who stated this yesterday during a meeting with the management team of BEDC led by Mrs Funke Osibodu and Civil Society Organisations in the state, said fixed charges and estimated tariff by the electricity company was not only irresponsive, but crude and criminal.
“I cannot seat here while watching the masses of the people of Edo exploited under the guise of fixed tariff and estimated billing,” he said.
While recalling the first meeting with the management of BEDC, Oshiomhole said: “I mentioned that now that the federal government has handed over NEPA or PHCN, it is incumbent that you (investors) to improve on your service delivery to consumers in order to have confidence in your organisation.”
“As someone elected to represent the interest of the entire Edo people, I cannot be silent to this type of exploitation by one company which claims that because there is somebody in Abuja or somewhere responsible for generation of electricity.”
He urged BEDC management to invite officials of National Electricity Regulatory Commission to his office within a specified time to further deliberate on the matter even as he directed the company to discontinue their purported disconnection exercise.
Earlier, Comrade Kaduna Eboigbodin and Olu Martins representing Civil Society Groups said their complaint against BEDC was hinged on collection of fixed tariff of N750 per meter and exorbitant charges ranging from N14,000 and above per flat monthly without commensurate electricity supply.
Managing Director of BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, said there was fixed tariff and estimated charges, stressing that the issues were like a chain revolving from generation to distribution.