The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDEC) and communities in the Southern Senatorial District of Ondo state and Idanre that have been experiencing power blackout are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding designed to restore power to the areas.
The state Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade told newsmen in Akure on Thursday that BEDEC, the outfit responsible for power distribution in the state and the affected Communities have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding he explained,has been perfected.
He said the MOU would have been signed last week but for some grey areas that needed to be amended.
According to him, all the grey areas have been amended by the parties.
He reported that BEDEC had hinged its decision to suspend power supply to the communities on the need to recover a huge sum of money being owed by consumers in the communities before they took over operation from PHCN.
He said government however posited that the innocent consumers who have been diligent in payment should not bear the brunt of the inability of others to pay and aware of the implication of balckout in the areas, it commenced a peace move between the aggrieved parties to arrest the situation.
The government as represented by the Secretary to government, Dr Rotimi Adelola, the Chief of Staff to Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Dr Kola Ademujimi, Attorney General, Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) moderated on the peace move between the power distribution company and the affected communities represented by the Chairmen of their local councils to find a lasting solution to the lingering power blackout
To this end, agreement was reached for the parties involved to draw a working agreement that will guarantee restoration of power to the communities and payment of dues owed the power outfit.
Following agreement on the terms of the MOU, Secretary to government Dr Adelola who met with media men in company with the Commissioner for Information Akinmade and the Local government chairmen of Ilaje and Okitipupa local governments, Jefter Obakpolor and Solomon Bitire, thanked BEDEC management for agreeing with the terms of the MOU even as he commended people of the affected communities for their patience.
He explained that contrary to the impression being given in some quarters, government does not have the power to provide power to residents as PHCN which used to play the role relinquished the responsibility to a private firm about four years ago.
He added that what government did was to initiate a meeting between the communities and BEDEC to solve the lingering problem.
The move, he said necessitated the MOU with terms expected to be implemented for return of normalcy to the affected communities.
Also expressing their joy over the development, Chairmen of Ilaje Local government and Okitipupa respectively, Obakpolor and Bitire said they have briefed stakeholders in their respective areas with the development and they have agreed to comply with the terms of agreement.