15 July 2015, Benin – The Edo State House of assembly has summoned the management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company over the disconnection of Igarra community, Akoko Edo Local Government Area, from the national grid.
The resolution, which was passed by the House on Wednesday, followed a matter of urgent public importance on the alleged oppressive and malicious shutdown of power supply to the community and its environs, as raised by the member representing Akoko-Edo II, Emmanuel Agbaje, during plenary.
Residents of the community had protested the disconnection which they claimed was due to their refusal to allow officials of the BEDC to remove a 2.5 step down transformer said to have been given to the community by the council.
But the BEDC spokesperson had said the disconnection was due to unpaid electricity bills by the community since November, 2014, while the transformer was removed because it was underused.
He said the community had been provided with a 7.5 MVA transformer under the National Independent Power Project. However, Agbaje, who moved the motion, said the distribution company had removed the transformer servicing the Igarra community and its environs without any explanation, denying the residents power supply for over one month.
“Mr. speaker, my community has been in darkness following the removal of the transformer servicing the community by BEDC without explanation.
“Even when I went there to find out the reason for their action, I was not granted audience,” he said.
The Majority Leader, Foley Ogedengbe, while sympathising with the affected community, described the situation as an unfair treatment capable of grounding economic activities in the area.
He added, “If they want to recover their property, you must dialogue and explain to the community stating why the transformer has to be removed,” he said.