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Electricity tariff increase unsettles Ogwashi Uku consumers

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By Nosa Akenzua

Alleged increase in electricity tariff in Ogwashi Uku, Delta state, on Tuesday unsettled its residents and consumers who appealed to the authorities concerned to urgently look into the situation.

While decrying the high cost of living in the community as major impediment, the people said that the increase may further compound the already existing economic challenges in the area and called on the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to reverse its decision or be ready to face protest.

Spokesman of the community, Mr Peter Okeke, who spoke to journalists in the area, said it was unwelcome development, adding that it was already affecting the lives of the people, “especially the poor.” A lot of people need electricity to operate their businesses and when the tariff is increased, it means there will not be hope for common man “disclosing that Ogwashi Uku Community, up until now, gropes in the dark, without constant power supply.

Noting that the electricity distribution companies were not ready to provide power supply, Okeke said “Initially, the federal government had directed disco to provide meters to each customer before increasing the electricity tariff but the Discos did not adhere to this directive and, in most cases, we don’t have a power supply for days whereas some areas outside the community will be having a power supply. There is no efficiency in BEDC at all and we are not happy with the situation at all. BEDC is not capable of providing all the necessary equipment and facilities for operations and that is why most damaged transformers in the community are not replaced.

Okeke, however, urged the federal government to withdraw the license of any Disco that does not provide adequate electricity to its customers adding that” We are appealing to BEDC and federal government to reverse their decision for the common man to have access to electricity in our community and ensure that everything possible to provide electricity for us as residents and consumers.”

Contacted, the public relations officer BEDC Mrs Esther Okolie, said that the issues raised were being looked into adding that BEDC would do everything possible to ensure constant power supply for the community.

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