Labour, Civil Societies picket BEDC Headquaters in Benin City

Place Adverts, call: 0 702 040 7106

By Itohan imade

Business transactions at the headquarters of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDCO) was today disrupted for over three hours as organised labour and members of the Civil Societies in Edo State joined the nationwide protest.

Labour leaders used their Vehicles to block the two entrance gates to the BEDC office while officials of the Red Cross Society were on ground to tackle any emergency with vehicular traffic along major streets in Benin City slowing down.

Speaking about the protest, State chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Emmanuel Ademokun, said they were at the BEDC premises to cause a reversal of the new electricity price.

He said they would not leave the BEDC premises until the new price is cancelled adding, “The minister has no power to increase tariff, it should be subject to stakeholders negotiation. He has to meet with stakeholders before any increment. Also all houses in the country must be metered. That was the agreements stakeholders reached with the government in 2013. So they cannot deviate from that Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“The crux of the protest as directed by the national body of NLC, TUC and CSO is to protest against the hike in electricity tariffs, discos disobedience to court order not to increase the tariff and went ahead to increase the tariff to 45 percent. We are here for picketing.”

On his part the State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Charles Oronsaye, said the Discos have refused to obey court orders restraining them from increasing tariff.

“Our message is no to increase of electricity tariff. No to darkness and estimated bills. After this warning protest and the federal government fail to obey the court order and agreement of MOU signed with stakeholders, we are going to go further. They are going to see Nigerians coming out stronger. It is going to be like the protest that greeted the increase in fuel subsidy. By then everybody will take to the street.”

Officials of the BEDC were locked up inside the premises while the protest lasted as a source said the firm was communicating with the Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED), which has described the protest as opportunistic, unwarranted, disruptive and illegal.

Place Adverts, call: 0 702 040 7106

Published by

Urhokpota Reporters

Founded in 2015 by Saintmoses Eromosele in Leipzig, Germany.