There are fears that Vigeo Vigeo Power Limited, owners of Benin Distribution Company (BEDC) in charge of power supply in Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo States may be running bankrupt.
Indications to this followed the alleged inability of the company to fix a faulty power equipment in the Udu area of Warri which cost is put at N16million.
Reliable source reveal that the company, which has been struggling with demand for improvement of electricity within the states, is finding it difficult to raise money to repair its faulty equipment, prominent among is which is a transformer step-down in Udu and Uwheru communities which have since packed up.
The sources, craving anonymity, said only the Managing Director of the company, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, could handle cases requiring over N1million , adding that the case of Udu transformer step-down involved about N16million which the company is finding difficult to raise.
Reliable sources also reveal that officials of BEDC in Udu and its environs have not been able to generate that kind of money in recent time hence their alleged indifference toward the faulty equipment.
“They said Udu station is not viable like Warri because they haven’t generate the kind of money the step-down is going to take for repair, that’s why they are not doing anything about repairing it,” the sources said.
A protest letter from some concerned residents of the area signed by Oke Kenneth Akpobaro, said they have been thrown into darkness about two months ago with BEDC personnel doing nothing to fix the problem.
“We have been to BEDC office in Udu area to complain, yet they don’t give us good answers and they have not done anything about the light since then. One official told us that they couldn’t afford the amount the step-down would take to be repair, saying the money is huge.
“Our question now is that how can a private company which is among the ones collecting bailout from the Federal Government can still be complaining of not having money to fix their installations? It means they were not prepared for the acquisition from PHCN. When the Federal Government under PHCN was managing power, it was not like this, it was better off but now privatisation under BEDC has failed us,”Akpobaro said.
Meanwhile, the people of Uwheru in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State have staged a peaceful protest against the BEDC management over lack of power supply to the community for over three years.
The community alleged that despite the fact that they had been thrown into darkness for over three years, they were still being given estimated bills.
Retired Bishop of Ughelli Anglican Diocese, Bishop Vincent Moughere, who led the protest , said: “Since I retired as a Bishop about four years ago, I live in the community and what we experienced was epileptic power supply under PHCN.
“Since the change of management after privatisation, we have been plunged into darkness under the new regime.
“Today’s protest is to show the world what we have been suffering in the community despite promises of light for all communities by Mr. President before the completion of the privatisation exercise.”
“I therefore,call on the President, Delta State governor and representatives of the people, both at the federal and state levels, to come to the aid of Uwheru.”
“We are suffering and to make matter worse we do not even know where to go and complain; we do not know the new managers and their operations.”
“This is why we are protesting for the whole world to see, so that they will know what we are going through,” Moughere said.
Some residents said the lack of electricity supply in the area has posed a big economic challenge to them as prices of goods and services have increased.
All efforts to reach BEDC’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Curtis Nwadei Agaam, when filing this report proved abortive as he didn’t pick his call or reply to text messages sent to his phone.Thewillnigeria.