…it is now pay as you use, Governor insists
The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, has declared that the Electricity Distribution Companies would henceforth find it herculean to cheat electricity users in the State due to the enactment of a new law that shields the users against brazen extortion.
The Governor revealed that the new law now mandates the users to pay based on electricity used, thereby prohibiting the estimated billing system that subjects the citizens to outrageous bills monthly.
Gov. Oyebanji disclosed this in Omuo Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government Council on Wednesday, while commissioning the 33KV electricity network extended to communities in Ekiti East, Ayekire and Gbonyin Local Government Areas, that had been in total black out for over a decade.
Addressing the people of the area who thronged the venue of the commissioning held at Iworo junction in the town, the Governor said such ugly situation, whereby communities will be in perpetual darkness for years won’t reoccur in Ekiti again, particularly under his leadership.
Insisting that consumers of electricity are now well protected by law, Oyebanji said: “I have signed a new bill into law that will make it impossible for anybody to cheat electricity users. Let me also say openly here that the reconnection project was fully funded by the state government, the BEDC didn’t play any role in it.
“Estimated billing has been the problem, but if you pay for what you used, nobody will complain. The new law will never allow anybody to cheat us in Ekiti, because you will now be paying for what you use. That they will come and cheat us will not happen again”.
Gov. Oyebanji , who sympathised with the people for being plunged into unwarranted darkness for over a decade, said such tendency is capable of grinding the economic activities of the people to a halt.
“It is very bad that you were made to be in darkness for over a decade. We know the importance of light , we are not unaware that being cut off from the national grid can hinder economic growth of our communities.
“In concluding this project, we encountered a lot of challenges. Apart from the challenge we faced with the National Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC), we also had other challenges to make this project successful. That is why we must protect all the facilities in our communities against vandalism.
“We did this because if we are able to solve the problem of electricity, our dams are functional and it will be easy for us to pump water into our reservoirs. There is a connect between the two.
“I want to appreciate the traditional rulers and other citizens for their clamness during the turbulent time. But try and protect those electricity installations. Let me give you assurances that your light will be regular and nobody can vandalise it . This ugly situation will never occur in our communities again”.
The Governor said that the restoration of electricity in some of the communities would aid the provision of portable water by the Government. According to him the government had rehabilitated three major dams but could not put them to proper use because of the absence of electricity. “ So, aside boosting economic activities, electricity will also boost water supply to our communities” the Governor said.
The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, described the restoration of electricity to the Local governments demonstrated how committed Governor Oyebanji is to fast-track investment to the state.
“This electricity restoration showed that Governor Oyebanji places high priority on promoting industrial development and committed to attracting investments to Ekiti to buoy the economic prosperity that would improve the standards of living of the citizens”.
Passing a verdict of good performance on the Governor, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ekiti South Federal Constituency 2, Hon. Femi Bamisile, said Oyebanji was able to restore electricity to some sections of Ekiti due to hardwork and dedication to duty.
Tactically endorsing the governor for a second term, Bamisile added :”You have just spent one-year, it remains seven years for you. The governor has done good, allmof us as Ekiti are going to repay him with support and votes”.
The APC State Chairman, Paul Omotoso, who is from that axis of Ekiti, revealed that Oyebanji has been able to demonstrate the essence of existence of government and leadership, saying the entire Gbonyin, Ekiti East and Ayekire council areas encountered harrowing experiences while in darkness for about 13 years.
“Some people said politics is about lies, but Governor Oyebanji has been able to show that governance is about prioritising the welfare of the people and that is exactly what our governor is doing. So, let us continue to support him. He has not disappointed us. The governor has not requested for a second term, but his second term is sure”.
Applauding the Governor for the gesture, the Olomuo of Omuo Ekiti, Oba Noah Omonigbehin, revealed that all the traditional rulers in Ekiti would continually support the Governor, not for partisanship, but for what he has done to liberate the people from sufferings and anguish.
Oba Omonigbehin tasked the Governor on the expediency of putting Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to be more responsive in electricity supply, rather than devoting its time rolling out bills and collecting money on monthly basis.
Residents of the three council areas went into a frenzy of celebration as the Governor switched on the light. Ojo Adekunle, a welding technician said he is hopeful his business that has gone down would bounce back with the restoration of electricity in the area.