ANL News reports that Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti state officials have sealed off the state office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) over the company’s alleged failure to pay the expected fees amounting to N15 million to the coffers of the council area.
The BEDC office located at the Ajilosun area of the state capital was sealed on Wednesday with a padlock and sticker with the inscription, “This Premises is Sealed by Ado local government area.”
The Chairman of Ado Local Government, Mrs. Omotunde Fajuyi while speaking on the issue said the decision of the council to seal the office was necessitated following the company’s inability to pay the backlog of debts to the council.
According to Fajuyi, “BEDC is yet to pay anything since December 2013 for their operations permit and their landlord has not paid tenement rate amounting to N15 million; we have sent messages to them severally but no response.
“Since I came here as chairman in 2019, I have seen five different letters sent to them but they refused to even acknowledge the receipt of the letter. We invited them to a meeting, they did not even bother themselves to come.
“Don’t forget they are operating as a profit-making organization, collecting money from people every day without even given residents the light. Every other business is paying but BEDC is defaulting. There was a high-level management meeting on Tuesday and a decision was taken to seal the place.”
The Council boss noted that all efforts by the council to seek an amicable solution to the issue were frustrated by the company, saying,” we invited them to a meeting, they did not even bother themselves to come.”
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer for BEDC Operations in Ekiti state, Mr. Kayode Brown, denied that the company was owing to the council area, saying the fee being demanded is not payable in the other three mandate states of the company.
He said, “We are not owing. What happened is this, BEDC operates in four states of Edo, Delta, Ondo, and Ekiti states, and what they requested for, we didn’t pay in the other three states. Why Ekiti?
“About a week ago, we pay over N13 million naira to the state government as tenanment rate and other charges. What we are guiding against now is that there are 16 local government areas in Ekiti, about 18 in Ondo State, so if we succumb to them now, it means every other council areas we now begin to come in and since we do not operate only in Ekiti state, this demand is not applicable to other three states.
” We have made a report to our head office and I think they are handling it. That is the situation,” he said.