Investigation: How BEDC controversial blackout increased theft of armoured cables from transformers

* Consumers condemned to pay heavily for replacements


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Topic: News


Investigation: How BEDC controversial blackout increased theft of armoured cables from transformers
One of the transformers recently vandalised at Okere in Warri


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  An exclusive dig-deep by Fresh Angle International in the last two weeks, have exposed how the controversial weeks-long electricity blackout announced by the under-performing and hugely indebted Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, increased the seemingly coordinated and professionally executed theft of armoured cables, connecting transformers to feeders in parts of Warri, Warri South Local Government Area in Delta State.

Verifiable Checks by This Newspaper, revealed that three transformers in Okere Market Roundabout, Esisi Roundabout and Oki Junction, in Okere Community alone as well as transformers at New World City by Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall and New World City by the Mast, both in Ugbuwangue, Warri, suffered casualty.

The transformer at St. Andrews Cathedral Church in the busy Okere Road and another transformer along the NPA Expressway Bypass, both in Warri, were also not spared by the electricity thieves.

Some electricity consumers, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Your Flagship Niger Delta Online Newspaper, accused BEDC officials of being responsible for the theft, which occurred mostly at midnights, even in areas where there are organized internal security.

Residents and business owners in the affected areas, have been condemned by the management of BEDC to pay the company, between five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000.00) and seven hundred thousand naira (N700,000.00) per transformer (armoured cables) before the Benin DISCO can restore the usual epileptic power supply.

Most annoying, according to some of the consumers, was the outrageous estimated bill slammed on those without prepaid meters, for the period they had to contend with the frustrating demands of alternative source of energy (generators) as well as the escalating cost of food items and services.

As at the time of this report, only consumers using the transformers at St. Andrews Cathedral Church, Okere Road and Ugbuwangue, had been able to raise the amount demanded by BEDC and are having glimpse of public power supply restored, while consumers in Okere Community axis, were still battling to raise the needed fund, for the replacement of the stolen armoured cables in the three vandalized transformers at Okere.

Prior to the peak period (during the announced blackout) of the theft, armoured cables were also stolen at the Lord’s Reign Clinic by Oil Road, Airforce Base, the Market and Christ Embassy in Jeddo and parts of Ugbokodo, both densely populated communities in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State.



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Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)


Tonebsky Nesta & Asare Michael Segun

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