From Osakhare Erese Asaba
The people of Alisimie Idumu-Itenei Community in Agbor kingdom, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, have, in strong terms, condemned the alleged outrageous electricity bills sent to various villages in the community by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
Speaking on behalf of the nine villages in the area, the chairman, Alisimie Central Executive Committee, Mr. Philip Bitokwu alleged that the billing system in the community was exploitative, considering the nature of electricity consumption in the agrarian community.
Bitokwu disclosed that most of the villages in the community have been thrown into perpetual darkness as a result of the refusal of BEDC to repair a faulty transformer serving the villages because of their (the affected villagers’) inability to pay the skyrocketing community bills.
According to him, community billing system is expected to be the cheapest, adding that the reverse is the case in Alisime community, alleging that some residents in the area pay between N3, 500 and N5, 000 monthly under the community billing system “even when they do not have electrical appliances that consume high rate of electricity”.
For instance, he said, the electricity bills sent to Iduemuenor village made up 90 houses by BEDC in February, 2017 was N146, 580; March, 2017 was N128, 257.50; April, 2017 was N168, 567.00; May, 2017 was N275, 387.18; June, 2017 was N183, 225.00; July, 2017 was N167, 467.65; August, 2017 was N207, 044.25; September, 2017 was N344, 463.00; October, 2017 was N381, 474, 45 and November, 2017 was N322, 000.
Efforts to speak with the Business Manager of BEDC in Agbor on the development proved abortive as he was not immediately available as at press time.