Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday summoned the managing directors of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to explain why there was power outage in the state.

The summon was sequel to a matter of urgent public importance raised by Hon. Kaycee Osamwonyi (PDP Uhunwode) over the epileptic power supply being experienced in the state.

Moving the motion during plenary, Hon.Osamwonyi said the BEDC was incompetent to supply electricity to residents in the state as the current epileptic power supply has compelled business owners into seeking alternative sources of energy to operate their businesses.

Hon. Osamwonyi said, “The current epileptic power supply in the state has crippled economic activities thereby creating untold hardship on business owners.

“In some communities politicians and individuals are made to provide transformers for their people and the consumers in turn pay for huge bills for electricity not supplied.

“Others complain about excessive estimated billing as this ugly incident affects businesses and throws the state into total darkness that promotes criminality.” He said the method of centralization of prepaid meters by BEDC whereby some consumers in some communities are levied to pay certain amount of money into designated community account name was a common practice deployed by BEDC to exploit and shortchange consumers in the state for services not rendered, as prepaid meters are no longer distributed to consumers.

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In his contribution, Hon. Emankhu Addeh said if states in the country take advantage of the full benefits of liberalization of the power sector, services rendered by operating Discos like BEDC would not be needed.

Hon. Addeh, who further explained that electricity supply is a direct function of generation, argued that both the electricity generating companies and the distribution company must appear before the House to explain why Edo residents can not have access to electricity but are made to pay for total blackout.

Hon. Okogbe, on his part, said the BEDC lacked the expertise and competence to provide electricity in Edo State, adding that it has become imperative for the Federal Government to review the operating licences of BEDC with a view to allowing independent power supply companies provide electricity to consumers in the state.

The lawmaker representing Esan South-East however stated that there are over 50 electricity generating companies in the country with none operating in the state.

He maintained that it would be almost impossible to invite any management of electricity generating company along with BEDC to appear before parliament but rather the TCN and its representative in the state can be invited to give answers to issues around non-supply of electricity to consumers in the state.

The House, following extensive deliberations on the epileptic power supply by BEDC to consumers in Edo State, thereafter summoned the management of BEDC and TCN to appear before it on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at 10.00am prompt.