Residents of Ogbe Agbaneshumu community in Akoko Edo Local Government Area Edo State have cried out over the daylight extortion cum punishment meted on them by the Electricity Company in the State after they refused to comply with their fraudulent demands.
This was revealed through a community-based platform Tracka, which checks the implementation of government projects in various communities across the country.
Investigations showed that the rural electrification project for the community has been completed since 2018, but out of greed officials of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company BEDC allegedly refused to supply light to the community unless they come up with a staggering One million Naira (1,000,000).
Residents of the community, however, disclosed that they have now been subjected to living in darkness following their refusal to grease the palms of officials of BEDC to supply electricity to the community.
Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) is one of the successor distribution companies created following the unbundling and privatization of the state-owned Power Utility, Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc. It is the 4th largest DisCos in the country.
According to the Consumer Rights and Obligations, It is not the responsibility of electricity customer or community to buy, replace or repair electricity transformers, poles, and related equipment used in the supply of electricity therefore the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has been urged to quickly investigate the allegations and impose necessary sanctions on BEDC if found culpable.
There are also calls to the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki to wade into the issue and ensure that the community enjoys the dividends of democracy under his administration.