BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI
WARRI—RESIDENTS of Delta Steel Company, DSC, township, Oruhworun, Udu Local Government Area of Delta State, Delta State, have asked the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Agency, NERA, to resolve the controversy over alleged N180 million power consumption debt slammed on consumers by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC.
Over 12,000 affected households in the DSC Township had earlier accused the BEDC, the company which acquired the privatised Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in the zone of defrauding them to the tune of over N700 million.
They alleged that between 2011 and 2013, officials of PHCN, in collaboration with the Steel Town instituted a committee empowered to collect and remit the electricity bills, while the said committee did not pay all the funds collected to the company.
The concerned residents expressed loss of faith in the electricity company before Ademola Adebayo, Divisional Police Officer, in Owian-Aladja, during a failed truce meeting with the distribution company’s boss from Benin.
Relations between parties further degenerated this week when BEDC sent a demand notice, asking the community to pay about N180 million as accumulated bills, a development rejected by the community leaders, who insisted they had paid their bills up until October last year when the company disconnected the entire town.
They implored NERC to wade into the matter to ascertain the claimed accumulated bills and save them from prolong darkness they have been plunged in the past three months.
Chairman, Finance and Technical, Steel Town, Mr Solomon Mamudu, who decried the alleged indebtedness, said: “We paid up until October before the privatisation and we are surprised that BEDC brought an unrealistic bill. On behalf of the people of DSC, I am calling on NERC to investigate this anomaly and tell us where the money went.”