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AN OPEN LETTER TO BENIN ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY (BEDC)

By : Akinsola Maxwell AKA  PUNDIT QUINTESSENTIAL

I am writing this with uttermost pain in my heart to be under your administration for power service.  I write as a bonafide citizen , I write as a concerned indigene , I write as one who feels the pain of the hoi polloi in my street , I write because I deeply believe that the time is always RIGHT to do RIGHT . And I am confident that it is never LATE to turn things around.

Over the years, I have by the grace of God watched NEPA grow to PHCN and later privatized to states level with different names (in this case BEDC is covering Ondo State) . During the privatization processes, we were all HAPPY hoping to have fresh air of power administration in Nigeria; little do we know that we were going from another frying pan to fire. One of the essence of the privatization is for proper concentrations of the power sector on the states they cover (effective power supply, installations and maintenance). I stand to be corrected though.

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Around the middle of the month of September 2019 (last year), there was a case reported whereby a particular item (CABLE) was illegally removed from the big Transformer directly opposite the headquarter office of BEDC in Ondo West LGA along brigadier Ademulegun Road, Ondo. The total power outage that ensued the evil act affected almost six streets (Upper Temidayo , Upper Mokola , Upper Iranlowo , Upper Riverside , Upper Akinjagunla , one other street and BEDC office in the area ).

Surprisingly, this item which was alleged to have been stolen was carted away from the Transformer directly opposite BEDC’s office. I therefore found it difficult to comprehend how someone who isn’t a BEDC official could have removed such sensitive and dangerous item from the Transformer. Indeed, “awò fëlë bonu ko jé ki a ri iku asebi” (you might need someone to decipher this Yoruba proverb).

After several months had gone by without electricity, your guys ordered the executives and representatives of the Landlord Association to arrange 6.5 million naira for it to be rectified. Isn’t it safe to then hazard a guess that your boys intentionally removed the missing cable for obvious reasons known to you and your boys? Isn’t that colossal amount too outrageous and absolutely insane? Have you forgotten we are not talking about Alagbaka government house? How on earth do you expect them to raise such an ambiguous amount these trying times?

More like MTN asking their users to construct a network mast before they can make use of their network, or like First Bank asking me to buy them a teller machine for my own use in their banking hall. BEDC under your watch had the courage to levy these poor and vulnerable customers who before the stolen cable were being offered fitful electricity supply. Since we are all living in a lawless society, the streets, against all odds danced to your tune. They have so far contributed sum of Four hundred thousand naira. But to my amazement, your boys rejected the money (#400 000) and insisted on 6.5 million naira or no deal. Do you guys know how frustrating it is to be home everyday and be seeing light at the other street just 5 minutes walk away and you do not have?

Alas!!! As I write now, residents of upper Temidayo and 5 other streets affected by the evil act perpetrated by your unseen guys have been living in total blackout since last year September. That’s barely 8 months and still counting. Apart from the inevitable effect of killing businesses, discomfort in this stay and work from home period, the security challenges created by this total darkness is no joke.

Apart from collecting huge charges, can you highlight one simple contribution of BEDC to their customers? You can’t purchase street poles, you can’t purchase electricity cables, you can’t purchase transformers for the use of your customers, your guys even went as far as stealing equipments from substations in order to make some quick cash. You are more like P in Psychology and something like K in Knife.

Finally, do whatever is within your capacity to give us light and you might need an economics tutor to explain to you “The Law of Demand and Supply “. Till I write to you again.

Akinsola Maxwell AKA Pundit Quintessential –  A frustrated customer from Temidayo Lane Off Brigadier Ademulegun Road Ondo, Ondo State Nigeria.

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