Ekiti LG Laments 14 Months Blackout, Begs BEDC

Ekiti LG Laments 14 Months Blackout, Begs BEDCThe residents of Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State have lamented a 14-month blackout, which they say has crippled business activities in the council.

They appealed to the state government to intervene and appeal to the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to resolve the power crisis facing virtually all the towns in the council.

A community leader in the council, Adegbuyi Ayodele, told journalists in Ado Ekiti, the state capital that more than 15 communities were affected by the blackout.

The affected towns include the council headquarters – Omuo, Kota, Ilasa, Eda-Ile, Isinbode, Araromi and Ikun Ekiti, Omuo Oke.

Adegbuyi said several artisans who rely on electricity to power their machines were now finding it difficult to cope with life as their sources of income had been negatively affected by the blackout.

The community leader said, “When approached for explanation on the sudden cut in power to the entire local government communities for over a year now, authorities of the BEDC demanded the payment of N78m being unpaid bills allegedly incurred during the pre-privatisation of the power sector but which was inherited by the new power managers as liability.”

Adegbuyi explained that all attempts by the affected communities to raise the huge sum from any of the federal and state elected as well as political office holders yielded no result.

He said the leaders imposed a levy of N5,000 per each household, but doubted if the whole money could be realised in record time so that residents could feel a sigh of relief.

The BEDC Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Mr Kayode Brown, could not be immediately reached for comments on the issue.

However, Brown had at different times said that towns in Ekiti that had been witnessing total blackout were doing so as a result of huge indebtedness to the company.

High Voltage Kills Woman In Ogwashi Ukwu

High Voltage Kills Woman In Ogwashi UkwuA mother of four has been electrocuted in Ogwashi Ukwu, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, south-south Nigeria.

Witnesses said Mrs Onyeka Anene lost her life after touching a gate which had absorbed unusually high voltage supplied by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BDEC).

The incident occurred a few weeks after the community was energised and electricity restored by the BEDC, after over 10 years of blackout.

Friends and relatives stormed the residence of the Anene family which was thrown into mourning with the sudden death Anene, mother of four.

One of the witnesses said a frightening spark on a high tension cable led to a breach in the connection from the feeder lines to the houses in the area, which he said also destroyed properties in the area.

A neighbour to the deceased, Paul Adigwe, told Channels Television that “There was a spark from the high tension wire and I heard her shout for help, she was already electrocuted. I rushed her to the hospital where she was confirmed dead”.

While recalling the death of Peter Akabueze who was reportedly electrocuted some months ago at Ubulu Uku, Mr Jude Mgbolu, a relative of the 21-year-old expressed fear over the re-occurrence of the unfortunate incident.

“Electricity is a thing of joy, and life is much easier with it but we are becoming scared due to the re-occurrence which coincidentally has caused the same family losing its loved ones,” he said.

Confirming the incident, the Delta State Government and the BEDC described the incident as unfortunate, adding that investigations were on to find out the root cause of the tragedy.

The Corporate Affairs Officer, BDEC Asaba/Agbor Business Units, Esther Okolie, said “We sincerely sympathise with the family of the deceased.

“You can agree with me that this kind of incident cannot be pre-empted by anybody. After 10 years of blackout in Ogwashi Ukwu, BDEC management before restoring power, organised a safety awareness forum with the community.

“However, while we are still awaiting findings from our investigations, people are advised not to erect structures on the right of way of our lines and wires”.

The Commissioner for Energy, Mr Newworld Safugha, said the Delta State Government has already swung into action.

“On behalf of the State Government, we sympathise with the family of the deceased. It is a very unfortunate occurrence, we got the brief and have questioned the management of BDEC.

“BDEC has assured that the matter is being investigated but as state, we want to assure you that we would not fold our hands and allow this kind of incident continue to occur,” he said.

Heavy Downpour Wreaks Havoc In Ado Ekiti

ekiti A heavy downpour has wreaked havoc and destroyed property worth millions of Naira in Adebayo and Oke- Oriomi areas of Ado Ekiti.

Some of the victims told Channels Television that the rain started around 3:00PM and ended at about 5:30PM on Friday, with a heavy storm pulling off roofs from buildings while some electric poles and vehicles parked on the roadside were damaged.

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The most affected area was Isato Street located along the old Governor’s Office, where the incident left the occupants of the affected houses homeless.

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The residents, who said the heavy shower was the first major downpour in the state in 2017, counted there loses and called on the Ekiti State Government to come to their rescue.

“We are calling on the State Government to come to our aid, our roofs have been removed and we don’t have any other place to put our head.

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“Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) should please look into the area of maintenance of their facilities; some of the electric poles are half broken and due for replacement but nothing is done,” a resident said.

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No life was lost so far while BEDC has been asked to urgently disconnect the wires from the poles.

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BEDC Decries Court’s Ruling On Electricity Tariff

Electricity, BEDC, Electricity TariffThe Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has criticised the judgement of a Federal High Court in Lagos which declared the present electricity tariff system being used by the 11 distribution companies in Nigeria void.

The Manager, Corporate Affairs, BEDC, Tayo Adekunle, stated this on Monday during an interview with Channels Television at the company’s headquarters in Benin City, the Edo State capital in south-south Nigeria.

He said that the court’s decision was inimical to the progress of the power sector.

However, a civil rights activist, Omobude Agho, has lauded the judgement of the court.

He accused the distribution companies of exploiting Nigerians with the new price regime.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had in an earlier interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, discredited claims that it flouted the court’s injunction on the tariff increase.

The commission noted that the lack of understanding of the privatisation and reform policy was responsible for the reactions that have trailed the electricity tariff increase.

Court Defers Ruling On Suit Filed Against PHCN

Court, PHCNThe National Industrial Court sitting in Akure has ‎adjourned the case filed by the disengaged staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) against the company.

The ruling on the matter was postponed till October 18, 2016, after the court heard from counsels of both parties on Wednesday in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

The electricity employees were led by the President of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Ondo ‎State chapter, Clement Daudu.

The staff, numbering 75 were in court to challenge their alleged disengagement since 2013 without following due process and non-payment of their severance packages.

Joined in the suit as second, third and fourth defendants were the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the National Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO).

Electricity: Residents Accuse BEDC Of Illegal Activities

Youths-Electricity-BEDCSome residents of Edo State have protested the alleged illegal activities by the management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

The youths under the aegis of Network of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria, commenced a three-day peaceful protest in Benin City, the Edo State’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

In his address at the Edo State House of Assembly complex on Wednesday, the representative of the group, Abraham Oviawe, listed some of their grievances.

Their complaints, according to Oviawe include unlawful electricity tariff, outrageous estimated billing, and irregular power supply.

Reacting to the demonstration, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Honourable Elizabeth Ativie, summoned the management of the BEDC to appear be the House.

Ondo Youths Ask BEDC To Restore Power Supply

Ondo Youths Ask BEDC To Restore Power SupplySome youths in Ondo State have called for the restoration of power supply to communities of the Southern Senatorial District of the state, by the electricity distribution company operating in the region.

The youths drawn from the various towns and villages converged on Okitipupa, the headquarters of the Senatorial District, for a peaceful protest with placards in their hands ‎demanding the restoration of power to the area.

They asked the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to as a matter of urgency, restore electricity to their communities which they lamented have been without power for almost a year now.

The angry youths lamented the paralysed socio-economic activities, adding that the jobless able-bodied youths have turned to anti-social activities to make ends meet.

They claimed that while the Northern and Central Senatorial Districts of the state have considerable supply of power, their communities had been experiencing total darkness.

Leader of the protesting youths, Sayo Onikun, also decried the lack of infrastructure and basic amenities in the area, despite the fact that it produces the largest chunk of resources in Ondo State.

Some of the protesters Babatunde Olatimehin and Jerome Joshua‎ attributed the high level of poverty in the senatorial district to lack of infrastructure and employment opportunities.

The youths posited that they have endured the suffering enough, adding that they want to live a comfortable life just like people in other parts of the state.