Do not let anyone stir you into unnecessarily protest
— BEDC, Agbor Business Manager Tells Residents
The Business Manager of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Agbor Business Unit, Engr. Bamgboje Akinlabi Amos, has urged members of the public not to allow anyone to stir them unnecessarily into participating in any protest against the establishment.
The BEDC Business Manager, gave the charge while reacting to the notice of protest on the installation of Prepaid meters on transformers instead of individual houses, as alleged by the members of the Ika Landlords and Landladies Association during their visit to his office on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
In a swift reaction, Engr. Bamgboje Amos, on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, during an interactive session with Ika Mirror Newspaper reporter at his office, located by Uromi Junction, Agbor; stated that the meters that were installed on the transformers are Check Meters and Not Prepaid Meters as alleged by members of the Association.
Here is the excerpt of the brief session
May we meet you Sir?
I am Engineer Bamgboje Akinlabi Amos, The Business Manager, Agbor Business Unit of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
We are aware of the recent visit of the President and members of the Ika Landlords and Landladies Association to your office with a notice of protest on the installation of Prepaid Meters on transformers instead of individual houses. Please kindly explain what it entails to the general public, so that everyone will understand the situation better?
Actually, members of the Ika Landlords and Landladies Association came yesterday (Tuesday, November 24, 2020), to tell me about their intention; but first, I had told them that those meters that were installed are Check Meters, they are not meant for billing. Before the meter was brought to Agbor, I discussed with Mr. Vincent Arimokwu, the President of the Association with some members of his team when they visited my office, I told him that a meter is coming to Agbor, and would be installed as it was installed in Asaba; explaining that we call them Check Meters when they are installed on transformers; we also believe that any transformer that have them, have been approved for individual metering. All this I discussed with him. I felt bad yesterday when he led his team here; instead of disseminating proper information to them, he led his team here telling us that they want to protest on that; when I had told him earlier that the meters are not meant for billing. They are only meant for Check Meters, so that individual persons can be metered on any transformer that such meters have been installed, I took time to explain all these to him, the last time he came to my office.
Are you saying that it is not Prepaid Meters that were installed on the transformers?
Exactly. Digital Meters and Check Meters, are what was installed on the transformers and not Prepaid Meters. The meters are quite different from Prepaid Meters.
The masses want to know why it is taking BEDC so long to provide them Prepaid Meters; what is causing the delay?
In March, 2020, or there about, I attended the meeting of the Ika Landlords and Landladies Association, where I told them that MAP was on going as at then and that if we are able to get to a particular level of MAPPING, we are going to commence the installation of the Prepaid Meters; before the advent of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic which prompted the general lockdown. However, immediately after the lockdown, we continued with the process. Presently, as at yesterday (Tuesday, November 24, 2020), over 40 persons had paid for their individual Prepaid Meters, while many are still going through the processes of the Prepaid Meters. The 40 persons are those whose White Meters have been installed in their transformers. Currently, we have over 60 transformers with those meters that are ready for individual Prepaid metering.
What do you mean by the word “MAPPING”?
Mapping is like a census; we need to know how many meters that would be required in Ika Nation, we need to know how many transformers that we need in Ika land and for us to know the number of persons in a particular area, we need to know how many houses are involved and in each of the compound we need to know how many blocks of flats are there, because we are going to give the meters to individuals. So, that is exactly what I meant by Mapping.
Having made this clarification, how do you see the intended protest?
I don’t see any reason for the protest because it is a protest based on falsehood. The President of the Ika Landlords and Landladies Association, needs to know that any information he gets from this office should be disseminated to his people; because they are the major reason why I give out those information to him.
Using this medium, knowing that we are already within the yuletide season, what should your customers expect during this period and the New Year?
Residents of Ika Nation have seen and are quite convinced that electricity supply in the area has greatly improved compared to what it was before the month of April 2020. In some areas we are having more than 12 hours supply, in other areas we are having 8, 9 and 10 hours supply; unlike what it was before when they were having two and half hours supply on daily basis. So, things have improved and I know that with the present steady power supply there will be a fulfilled Christmas celebration, more than the ones they had witnessed in the past.
Any other vital information for members of the public?
Yes.. I want to inform the public that whenever they want any information or whenever they are in doubt; my office is always; come to my office, ask me your questions directly; so that you will not allow anyone to mislead you into doing what is not right; and into doing what is not needful because I want the progress and development of all the masses and communities in Ika land; that is mostly why we are here to contribute our own quota; of course we are aware that there are some areas in Ika Nation that do not have electricity supply. We are also aware that there are areas whose new transformers have not been energized, but some of them have processed their Prepaid Meters; because that is the only requirement for us (BEDC) to energize them; the approval have come. It is just a matter of time, everywhere in Ika land will be lighted up in the sense of electricity supply; I can assure you that when the masses enjoy constant power supply they will even forget that they are in Ika land; that exactly is our target. But please, I will also want to advise; don’t let anyone stir you unnecessarily into participating in any protest or anything whatsoever. However, if there is any information that you do not understand; Please walk into the office of the BEDC Agbor Business Manager; my office is always open to receive you.
I Pray that God Almighty will bless the entire citizens and inhabitants of Ika Nation and also bless the management and staff of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
Engr. Bamgboje Akinlabi Amos