By John Odunjo
Relief is on the way for residents of
Ayekire LCDA and Ekiti East LGA after about 10 years of blackout as the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has promised to energize the transformers and commence supply of electricity to the areas.
The development was part of the outcome of a tripartite meeting
organized recently by the State Government in Ado Ekiti with
representatives of BEDC and the affected communities with their monarchs or representatives in attendance.
The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, said that the meeting was able to resolve
outstanding grey areas as a prelude to the eventual reconnection of the area to the national grid.
Aluko said that government’s efforts to restore electricity to the area was in fulfillment of the Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s campaign promises and a strong indication of his administration’s commitment to people’s welfare.
The commissioner said, “The Biodun Oyebanji administration will not compromise any attempt to circumvent the payment of utility bills”.
In a communique at the end of the meeting, it was noted that all stakeholders were committed to the restoration of electricity to the affected areas and praised Governor Oyebanji for his efforts at ending the age long darkness experienced by the people of the area.
Other consensus reached at the meeting are the provision of post-paid meters, constitution of a team to organize a consumer census and audit committee, as well as settlement of electricity bills after enumeration of the houses in the affected areas.
According to the communique, BEDC should be transparent and accessible to the communities for their complaints, while the communities should protect electrical installations against vandalisation and theft, emphasizing that consumers would transit from the post-paid meter regime to prepaid meters in the nearest future.
The agreement stated further that BEDC should strongly consider the bad debts owed by the communities.
In his remarks, the Owaateju of Iro Ayeteju, Oba G S O Ajayi, who
spoke on behalf of other traditional rulers in the affected communities, expressed appreciation to Governor Oyebanji for fulfilling his campaign promise to restore light to the area within his first year in office.
Also speaking, the Regional Head, Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Mrs Moyo Akin Afuye, lauded the efforts of governor in his resolve to restore electricity supply to the affected
She pledged BEDC’s readiness to work with all stakeholders to make life worthwhile in the area.