The President of Ika Landlords/Landladies Association, Comrade Vincent Arimokwu, has disclosed that the Chief Executive Officer of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has agreed to the association’ s request for non precondition on the issuance of prepaid meters to customers in Ika Land.

Arimokwu made the disclosure during an interactive session with newsmen at the Corporate Office of Ika Weekly Newspaper on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. He stated that members of the association were impressed with the outcome of the meeting that was held recently at the instance of the state government on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at Government House, Asaba, which had in attendance the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of BEDC and some management staff of the company ,and was presided by the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Hon. Ovie Agas.

Continuing, Comrade Arimokwu disclosed that the meeting between both parties was called at the instance of the State Government following the petition from the association and the mass protest by the masses against the poor services of BEDC to its customers in Ika Land.

According to Comrade Arimokwu, what compelled the peaceful protest in January 2016 included; issues of poor electricity supply, high estimated billings, non provision of prepaid meters as approved by the law and forcing customers to pay for vandalized or damaged equipment, which he stated was not the responsibility of BEDC customers. Speaking further, he emphasized that their stand is that they are ready to pay for the bills consumed and not the estimated bills that the company usually charge power consumers; hence the request for the provision of prepaid meters, which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has approved as the right of electricity consumers and without any precondition on its issuance. He stated that based on the aforementioned, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, who has been very sensitive to the plights of power consumers in Ika Land, invited the Chief Executive Officer of BEDC, some of her management staff and members of the landlords and Landladies Association to a meeting which took place at the office of the Secretary to the State Government Hon. Ovie Agas, to enable them resolve the issues amicably.

Comrade Arimokwu stated that at the end of the meeting, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, the Chief Executive Officer of BEDC was requested by the state government to make sure that the prepaid meters are supplied to customers in Ika nation without further delay, saying that the CEO of BEDC also promised that she was going to pay special attention herself in making sure that all the issues raised are finally resolved, assuring that she personally wants to step into the matter. The Ika Landlords/Landladies President also stated that Mrs. Funke Asibodu has assured the association that she will henceforth be having meetings regularly with them.

Speaking earlier, Comrade Arimokwu frowned at the situation where BEDC officials do not read meters, but just sit in their office and bill their customers outrageously.

Comrade Vincent Arimokwu on behalf of members of Ika Landlords and Landladies Association, thanked and appreciated His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Ovie Agas, for their fatherly roles, and for their interest in Ika Nation, noting that they really helped to ensure that peace prevails. He also disclosed that the state government said it was happy with members of the association, because of the peaceful approach which they used in resolving the issues.