Twenty months after towns and communities in the Ondo South senatorial district were disconnected from the power grid, an agreement between the state government and the Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC) was on Tuesday signed to reconnect affected communities.
This was contained in a statement issued by BEDC on Wednesday.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Aderotimi Adelola, signed on behalf of the Ondo State government, while the Chief state head, Ondo and Ekiti States of the BEDC, Mr. Ernest Edgar, signed on behalf of the BEDC at a ceremony held in the office of the SSG, Government House, Akure.
Speaking shortly before the signing, Adelola said the signing was the first step in ensuring that power is restored to hundreds of affected communities in the southern parts of the state, assuring that the state government would fulfill its part of the agreement with the BEDC.
He described the day as a new dawn in the lives of the people of Ondo South, appealing to the management of the BEDC not to renege on the terms of the agreement by restoring power to the communities as soon as possible.
In his remarks, Edgar assured the state government of the preparedness of BEDC to restore power to the area starting with Odigbo Local Government Area in April and the remaining local government areas in the months to come.
He expressed satisfaction that over the resolution of the problems that led to the disconnection such as a debt of about N1.9 billion, vandalism of power installations and non payment of bills, assuring that an enduring procedure has been worked out to ensure that bills are reconciled and paid.
He said parts of the past issues sorted out with the state government included the payment of 50 per cent post privatisation bills by the community, how to safeguard power installations and safety of BEDC workers operating in the areas.
The Chairman of Odigbo Local Government Area, Hon E.O. Oshati, who signed on behalf of the council, said he has talked to members of council and that that they were full of expectations and willing to cooperate with the BEDC.
He said: “I want to assure you that our people are ready. They will surprise the BEDC with the way the will pay their bills. They are ready to protect BECD properties in their domains and are tired of living in darkness.”