Persistent Power Outage in Ondo
THE epileptic power supply in Akure, and by extension the whole state has continually challenge the capability of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company to provide uninterrupted power supply to consumers and the need to look for an alternative source of power supply in Ondo State.
WE note that the problem has obviously graduated from its once epileptic nature to a near coma level. This is a saddening and retrogressive development is affecting the socio-economic progress of the state.
IT is doubtful if the ugly trend of power supply in Ondo State bothers Benin Electricity Distribution company. This is because, despite the general acceptable notion that electricity problem in Nigeria is common to all the various parts of the country, cursory look at some other states shows that the BEDC is abysmally lacking behind. It is performing very much below the average. If, for example, Akure, the Ondo State capital has not been enjoying power supply one can only imagine what would be the lot of other parts of the state that are far from the state capital.
THE puerile and unacceptance excuse of BEDC that it could not distribute what it does not receive is untenable. We gathered that when it was consulted on plan to increase the power supply to Ondo State, the body turned down such offer. May be, this is because the body was comfortable with its present situation where it smiles to the bank at the end of the month, caring less if it supplies electricity or not. The Hope notes that the situation where the company relies on its self serving and crazy estimated billing system unacceptable to millions yearning for electricity. A situation where bills are extra polated to meet the company’s economic exigency is provocative and exploitative.
THIS Hobson choice is surely at the detriment of the consumers. Instances abound when consumers are thrown into darkness for days or weeks and yet bills are still forced down the throat of consumers. Still more painful is the fact that at times, the electricity supply is off few hours of bringing the bill, if brought at all.
THE problems of the electricity consumers are even further compounded by the BEDC, which because of the windfall and corrupt rip off it realizes from its current irrational estimated billing system, has been doing everything possible to sabotage the acquisition and distribution of prepaid meters by consumers. The Hope sees this as a bad business which ought to be discontinued by the utility company. BEDC has a social contract with consumers to ensure that innocent people are not ripped off of their hard earned money. BEDC’s refusal to give prepaid meters to prospective consumers though unpatriotic amounts to arm-twisting which BEDC must find a lasting solution and very urgently too. To us at The Hope, it is wicked, unpatriotic and unacceptable.
THIS is especially so in Ondo State where majority of the artisans rely on electricity. The few that dare the use of diesel groan under the yoke of the attendant higher cost of production. This makes them lose comparative advantage when at competitive market. Still, many industries and one man business outfits are thus folding up because of the problems caused by BEDC and its consistent power outage.
AT this level of its development, Ondo State needs a very good and steady power supply to make it reach desired socio and economic development that will make it be at par with its colleagues.
WE call on Ondo State Government to help by “compelling”, if need be, the BEDC into toeing the line that will be more people- friendly. Prepaid meters should be facilitated as soon as possible and made easy for people to get. The people of Ondo State should also stop their complacent approach to this great problem of power outage. We advise that they form a strong social group to protect and advance their interests.
THIS we believe would draw the public attention to their plights. Such approach would definitely prompt government to do the needful and take bold step at solving the power problem. This is not the best time to be “Suffering and smiling.” Surely, Ondo State deserves better power supply than it presently receives from a lack luster and inept Benin Electricity Distribution Company.