In the wake of the blackout, more than 20,000 people in Edo have petitioned BEDC

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The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Plc has been hauled before the National Assembly by more than 20,000 citizens and a large number of business owners from the Ughiole and Ubiane towns in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, who claim that the area was without power for nine months.

According to COZMATO, the communities and business owners who complained about the power company’s incapacity to provide them with electricity said that they are being penalized unfairly.

Adamu Deco Suleman, speaking for the communities, had a petition signed by Hon. Esosa Iyawe, a member from the Labour Party who represents the Oredo Federal Constituency, and delivered it to the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Petitions in the National Assembly.

A public appeal was filed against the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) by the residents of Ughiole and Ubiane in Etsako West Local Government, Edo State, alleging that BEDC had failed to end the extended blackout.

Unidentified individuals vandalized the step-down equipment that powers five transformers nine months ago, according to Suleman, which caused the neighborhoods to experience an extended blackout.

He speculated that the step-down transformers went boom because some anonymous vandal was draining the facilities of oil, making the tenants’ situation much worse.

He claims that the leaders of the community immediately informed the BEDC in the Auchi Business District about the occurrence.

He said the communities formed a fundraising committee to pay for the infrastructure’s repair or replacement after the BEDC’s casual attitude toward helping them prompted them to do so.

He elaborated by saying that inflation and changing exchange rates have made it impossible for the communities to come up with the more than N8 million needed to purchase a new stepdown.

The response from BEDC has been marked by indifference and negligence, which Suleman regrets.

“Since the incident, there have been no gatherings of stakeholders, and the two communities have been left to deal with the consequences of being powerless, with no help from BEDC management or the government.”

He claims that the villages had to go to the National Assembly for assistance in investigating the ongoing blackout and in getting BEDC to send a replacement stepdown generator to reconnect the power lines as soon as possible.

We beg the committee to recognize the gravity of the problem, send a delegation to see the power outage crisis in person, and pressure the appropriate government agencies to move quickly to fix it.

The petition added that once power is restored, BEDC should compensate the affected residents for their hardships and the dereliction of duty. This is because the residents of these communities have fled to neighboring areas, which has worsened the level of insecurity and devastated the local economy, which is heavily dependent on electricity.

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