Monday, May 24, 2021 was a troubled day for the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Agbor Business Manager, Engr Amos Bamgboye as some residents who were extorted for a free prepaid meter installation gathered to demand for the refund of their money.
The aggrieved residents were accompanied by the members of Ika Landlords/ Landladies Association where the Chairman, Mr. Vincent Arimokwu who said he had earlier warned the management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Agbor Business Office to stop extorting electricity consumers in Ika Land.
The outspoken Mr. Arimokwu who could not hide his anger over the continued extortion of electricity consumers in Ika Land said, “It’s indeed very sad and oppressive as BEDC, Agbor Business District led by Engr. Bamgboye continued without fear to extort our people and all electricity consumers in Ika Land. First was through outrageous monthly billings and illegal payments for electricity cables and poles.
“The recent broad day robbery pattern of BEDC is the forceful collection of money from innocent electricity consumers in the name of prepaid meter installation.
“In our last meeting with BEDC at its office in Agbor, we agreed that only Two Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (#2,500) should be paid for a prepaid meter installed in any house in Ika Land because Federal Government through Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Company (NERC), has since announced that prepaid meters installations is free of charge.
“We are very surprise to hear complaints of extortions by BEDC from different areas in Ika Land which is seriously against our agreement with the company. We are law abiding people; we have been cooperating with BEDC but we wonder why the company is extorting us. We are not fools and our quietness should not be taken for a ride. And if the extortion continues, we are going to stage a peaceful protest for the removal of BEDC, Agbor Business District Manager, Engr Amos Bamgboye”, he said.
Mr. Arimokwu stated that no room should be given anymore for BEDC extortion game in Ika Land. He urged electricity consumers in Ika Land to cooperate with his association by saying no to BEDC extortion.
The aggrieved electricity consumers who were from Obi Road area, Uromi Junction, Agbor and Deeper Life Road Area in Boji-Boji, Owa disclosed that BEDC extorted monies between #10,000 and #55,000 from them. While Landlords/ Landladies of Obi Road were forced to pay #10,000 each, two Landlords from Deeper Life Road were forced to pay #52,800 and 51,300 each for the installation of their prepaid meters against the agreed #2,500.
However, BEDC, Agbor Business District Manager, Engr Amos Bamgboye who in a newspaper publication challenged members of the public who were extorted to come to his office to mention who extorted them was mute and dumb on the issue when the aggrieved electricity consumers stormed his office.
REPORTED BY PATRICK GBUCHANYE