Delta Businessman Berates BEDC over Poor Performance

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The Chairman of DAS Energy Services, Udu, near Warri, Delta State, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has berated the Benin Electric Distribution Company (BEDC) over poor performance, noting that the situation is becoming a threat to the development of the state.

He maintained that BEDC’s epileptic power supply, high estimated billings, abandonment of their responsibilities to consumers, and workers’ nonchalant attitude towards consumers were the causes of economic under-development in the state.

The businessman, who was Delta State governorship aspirant on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform, bemoaned the poor performance of the BEDC while addressing journalists at the weekend in his office in Warri.

He lamented that no industry or economic investment could survive in the state with the way and manner BEDC is operating-without effective power supply.

According to him, “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 region can do about it. If the government depends on BEDC power supply for development, it will be disappointed.”

He rued BEDC’s high estimated billing, which, according to him, has killed small and medium-scale ventures in the state.

The businessman said: “The high rate of disbursement of estimated bills is killing the industries and other investments in Delta State. Just imagine a water factory paying N500,000 or bottle water factory paying over N1million for a monthly electricity bill.

“If we want to move this state forward, we must review the activities of BEDC in Delta State.”

The PDP chieftain 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 polls, cables and foot the repairs of faulty transformers in their environs.

Onuesoke said: “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 the 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, repair of transformer and even pay their workers that earn monthly salaries for workmanship.

“Despite all that, the power supply is still very epileptic. The oppression from BEDC is becoming something else.”He alleged that BEDC has refused to supply pre-paid meters, which customers paid for, but still distribute estimated bills, noting that officials of the company were in the habit of disconnecting wires, which they cart away and only supply the 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, noting that: “The power situation is very bad. I had suggested that the Minister of Power should put in place a system where consumers can choose which power company to do business with if one does not work well.”

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