The authorities of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) on Monday said it has disconnected the Delta State University (DELSU) over a debt of N35,000, adding that since December 2017, the university had been indebted to it, and had not made any efforts to offset the debt. Daily post reportsSpeaking with DAILY POST in Asaba, the Public Relations Manager, BEDC Edo/Delta State, Mrs. Esther Okolie, said: We had to disconnect DELSU after series of letters written to its management about the N35, 000 debt, instead, it paid deaf ears, and we will not reconnect it until DELSU pay the debt. BEDC does not run charity organization, so there is need for bills to be paid”.
But the University Vice Chancellor, Professor Victor Peretomode, who confirmed the N35, 000 debt, said: “BEDC has not been doing well in area of bills, its bills had been too outrageous. We asked for a review, BEDC refuses, and we stay disconnected for now”.
Professor Peretomode however called on staff and students to always switch off electrical appliances when not in use, lamenting that security lights in residential quarters were usually not put out during the day, and frowned at some staff occupying residential quarters that were in the habit of using electricity supply for their private businesses.
Investigation revealed that the university authorities through its bulletin dated January 11, 2018, with the title: “Need to monitor electricity consumption by staff and residents of the university” indicated that “there was the need to monitor the use of electricity in staff quarters, and offices on regular basis”.
The university bulletin had also hinted that it was having difficulty coping with the payment of rising cost of the bills from the BEDC, noting that due to the development, there was no electricity supply for six months in the university.
Some lecturers of the university, who spoke on condition of anonymity, alleged that for over nine months, there has not been electricity supply to their department and offices, lamenting what they described as “poor working conditions” due to epileptic power supply being experienced by them in the university campus.
Further investigations revealed that power generating sets in the various campuses of the university currently run from 6am to 7:30am, and 7pm to 12 midnight, daily, while when there was power supply from BEDC, electricity was supplied from 6am to 10am and 4pm to 12pm daily.
Speaking further, BEDC spokesperson, Mrs. Esther Okolie disclosed that BEDC had demanded that the outstanding bill must be cleared before it could reconnect the light, while DELSU management said it had regulated the load it was carrying to reduce the monthly bill with a view to coping with the monthly and outstanding bills to BEDC which was pegged at N7,000 monthly.