From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) appear to have reached a truce over the controversial N750 fixed charge for prepaid meters Customers across Ondo, Ekiti, Delta and Edo states.
The decision followed Tuesday evening public hearing by Edo state House of Assembly Committee on Energy and Water Resources, in Benin City, the Edo state capital.
Managing Director of BEDC, Mrs Funke Osibodu, yesterday said the protest was a call for prompt action to address the critical challenges bedevilling the company.
Osibodu told newsmen that the protest has also given them more focus and direction as to what the states under her firm require, in order to have the best of electricity supply.
Head of Market, Competition and Rates Division, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Halliru Dikko had urged management of BEDC to provide enough metres for consumers, in conformity with the agreements signed with the Federal Government.
Chairman of Committee on Energy and Water Resources, Michael Ohio Ezomo, during proceedings, said the committee acted on a petition written to the Assembly by members of the CSOs on allegations of fraudulent practice by the new electricity investor in the state.
He frowned at the continuous monthly deduction of N750 fixed charge being paid by electricity consumers in the state, stating that the move was at variance with the company rules of engagement.
Leaders of the Edo State CSOs, Comrade Austin Osakue advised the management of the BEDC and NERC to scrap the deduction of the N750 fixed charge as well as re-training of staff and improved electricity supply for customers in the zone, as precursor to end the protest which began last week.