12th May, 2020
By Jethro Ibileke
The Management of Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC), has urged electricity consumers in its franchise states to pay their bills, reiterating that the free electricity offer is yet to be implemented.
This was contained in a statement signed by the head of the public affairs department of the company, Mr. Adekunle Tayo, in reaction to alleged reports that customers in part of its coverage states of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo, were engaging the services of electricians to reconnect after being disconnected for non-payment of electricity bills on the excuse that Federal Government has promised free electricity.
The BEDC management said while it completely aligns with the plans to ensure palliative measures including free electricity supply to all Nigerians for two months to make life easier during the lockdown period due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it, however, appealed to customers to continue to pay their bills as the status quo remains, pending further directive on the proposed free electricity proposal.
“No decision has been taken by the federal government on the proposal. While nobody is sure of the date of implementation, electricity supply to customers presently is not free.
“Prepaid customers need to vend energy token to avoid service disruption when they run out of energy units, while postpaid customers need to settle outstanding bills to avoid disconnection.
“This is so because if the free electricity palliative measure is approved, it will not cover the past bills.
“Customers are therefore advised to manage their energy consumption at this critical period to avoid accumulating huge bills that may be difficult to pay in the event that the measure is eventually not approved,” the statement said.
The electricity distribution company however assured its customers that it shall continue to provide quality service across its touchpoints and improve the availability of electricity supply to alleviate the hardship faced by customers during the coronavirus pandemic period.
This is even as it pointed out that it was in view of the need to ease the hardship that it has increased significantly power availability to several customers in some locations across its franchise states while suspending the rotational load management schedule for power supply.
It, however, warned that anybody caught in the act of illegal reconnection will be arrested and prosecuted in line with existing electricity regulations.