The organised labour in Ekiti State yesterday staged a protest at the office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), ordering it to stop outrageous billing and incessant epileptic power supply or leave the state.
The visibly angry labour leaders of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Joint Negotiating Council JNC) lamented that BEDC’s poor electricity supply to Ekiti State has crippled the economy.
They also accused the electricity distribution company of dishing out outrageous and crazy estimated billings. The protest was led by chairmen of TUC, Sola Adigun; NLC, Kolapo Olatunde and JNC Secretary, Gbenga Olowoyo, to the BEDC’s office located at Ajilosun area of Ado-Ekiti metropolis.
The NLC chairman, while addressing the company’s representative, said: “Ekiti people are tired of paying for darkness and your estimated billing should not exceed N3,500 in urban areas and N2,500 in rural centres. There are court judgments that have affirmed these, but BEDC did not care to abide by them.
“Total blackout that we are experiencing is not helping our economy. You didn’t give prepaid meters to citizens many years after they have paid for them. All you do is to bill anyhow. If you cannot give us light, please pack and leave our state.
“You can see that we are peaceful now, but when next we come, we will change strategies. Why are you treating our people in Ekiti like this? Why do you always on and off your light despite that you have the capacity to give light? Do you need government’s help so that we can intervene?”
In his response, the BEDC Human Resources Manager, Mr. Patrick Akindele, apologised for all the perceived mistakes in BEDC operations in Ekiti, assuring that there would be improvement.
“It is painful and unfortunate that you didn’t give us notice before you came today, because people of top hierarchy that would have attended and speak on some of the issues raised are not around
“However, I tender apology about all you have said, but those who can really address the issues are not here. But all your issues will be passed across to them,” he said.