By G9ija

Abel Enechaziam, Chief Head, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Plc, on Wednesday disclosed that the company has received over 459,000 complaints from consumers from January to November 2021 and has treated well over 455,000.

He disclosed this at a programme tagged Consumer Complaint Resolution Platform organised by the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and support from MacArthur Foundation held in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Enechaziam said the company has given its workers a mandate to treat every complaint as it comes without delay and that they have been doing just that.

Enechaziam urged customers to always channel their complaints to the appropriate quarter rather than depending on a friend who works in the company just as he asked complaints to always ask for the ticket number of their complaints about easy tracking than submitting them (complaints) without being able to track them.

While venting his anger at the event over what he tagged over billings, Counsel to the Hotel Proprietors of Nigeria, Edo State, Mr Peter Askhaimo, Esq., on behalf of his clients, said he had this year written over 40 letters to the management of BEDC but with no response.

He added that he invited the Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency, NEMSA, to carry out routine checks on facilities in his clients’ premises after which BEDC was directed to supply NEMSA-sealed meters to his clients, lamenting that till now nothing has been done.

“I invited NEMSA who came in an official capacity to carry out a routine check on the facilities and the functioning capacity in all the premises of my clients. The outcome of that investigation was that BEDC should within a time frame supply NEMSA-sealed meters to my clients, but up till this moment, BEDC is adamant and still threatens my clients with overbilling.

“The first question is, what is responsible for this overbilling and high tariff of from NGN900,000 to roughly NGN4m in a month. A situation whereby hotel paid up to NGN5m monthly is unhealthy,” he lamented.

On his part, another consumer, Kingsley Esiojie said, “The way BEDC gives bill without electricity is worrisome. They only supply electricity the period they want to share their bill, and after sharing and payment, the supply would be taken.”

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Executive Commissioner, Operations, FCCPC, Dr Adamu Abdullahi, said the event was organised to interface BEDC with its customers with a view to resolving complaints brought to the forum.

He ordered that “Cases brought here must be treated and completely resolved.

“We also want the timeline to be strictly adhered to, and any disregard to this directive will be view seriously by the FCCPC as insubordination.”