A pressure group, Light Up Movement, has decried the epileptic power supply across Kogi state and non-readiness of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to take responsibility and invest in it infrastructures.
Addressing a press conference in Lokoja on Friday, the chairman of the group, Iliyasu Zakari, stated that electricity consumers in Kogi state are virtually taking over the responsibility of AEDC – buying everything from cables, transformer oils and other equipment and they are still billed highly without recourse to their efforts.
The group demanded an end to the regime of estimated billing by AEDC in the state, adding that no electricity consumer in the state should be placed below Band ‘C’ tariff migration.
They also demanded a clearly stated period for which damage must be repaired or replaced, failure of which the community might choose to repair or replace the facility and have the amount spent spread in their bills.
They issued a four weeks ultimatum to AEDC to step up their game and meet their demands or face mass action.
He said that the AEDC had reneged on several agreements reached on ways to improve supply, adding that the present situation had become worse and must be improved upon.
“Electricity, as we all know, plays a significant role in the prosperity and economic development of every nation. No society can grow without adequate power supply and a city like Lokoja and the entire Kogi State are known for the entrepreneurial nature of our people.
“Microeconomic activities in the state depend on electricity and the people need efficient power supply that ensures their goods and services are not hampered.
“It is sad to learn that on regular basis, the people of the state, beginning with residents of the state capital, Lokoja, have continued to lament drastic drop in power supplies by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), the company saddled with distribution power to the region.
“As a body, the Light Up Movement has on several occasions, engaged the leadership of the AEDC on the problems they may face and how such problems could be amicably resolved.
“The group is made up of people of rational competence, empathy and intellectual grit; hence our decision to always toe the path of dialogue, positive engagement rather than the use of protests and demonstrations that may be counter productive.
“This does not mean the body cannot organize a successful protest capable of crippling the activities of AEDC in the state. Those with a good memory of the origin of the body can testify to how the body mobilised to shut down AEDC operations in 2017 when power situation was in similar state. The current situation is probably worse for consumers and they want improvement.
“There is also the problem of reoccurring faults on daily basis showing incompetence and lack of investment by the company.
“Failure to meet the demands enumerated above will leave us with no choice than to mobilise for the next phase of these demands. Enough of the AEDC blackmailing and putting the movement in bad light in the minds of the public while reneging on all agreements reached in previous engagements,” the group stated.
The group passed a vote of no confidence in the leadership of AEDC in Kogi State.