The Ekiti State Landlords Electricity Consumers’ Association has threatened to sue the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) over what it called ‘outrageous and killing’ tariffs being imposed on them in the state.
They alleged further that the BEDC was deliberately hoarding the prepaid meters which were to be given out free, saying this was done purposely to cheat the consumers so that “they can keep bringing their concocted, outrageous bill of electricity we did not use.”
The landlords ordered the company to make available to landlords pre-paid meters to end the seemingly endless regime of extortion and arbitrary bills being slammed on the residents of the state.
The association said this in a statement signed by its Chairman, De Ibukun Ogundipe and Pastor Seye C.O. and made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Friday.
The body 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 without people being shortchanged were provided.
It said it had directed his lawyer to file a suit against BEDC over the ‘unmitigated pain’ its members had been encountering through the
company’s operations, urging 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 Ekit 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.
“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 concluded.
The BEDC Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Mr Kayode Brown, while reacting said the pre-paid metre in their disposal had been allocated appropriately.
Brown said: “You can’t hoard what you don’t have. We have exhausted what we have received so far to the targeted categories.
“The NERC instructed us to give the prepaid to industrialists first, then the prime areas and the residential buildings in that order.
“So, industrialists have benefited and I know those complaining are the house owners and they will get theirs soon, they should just bear with us”, he appealed.