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BEDC Begins Network Clean Up To Boost Service Delivery

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The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, Plc says it has began a major network ‘clean up exercise’ which entails mass disconnection of illegal consumers and those with other infractions that could hinder its smooth operation.

The management disclosed that the exercise was part of efforts at improving service delivery in line with the Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) regime in the electricity supply industry.

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A statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, BEDC, Funke Osibodu, which was made available to INFO DAILY, said the electricity distribution company did not just go into disconnection of such customers but first embarked on “massive customer reach-out programme through direct communication with customers by field representatives, POS-Agents, Call Centre representatives aiming to provide to the customer’s individual debt rescheduling solutions based on the Debt Rescheduling Scheme.”

The statement disclosed that the network cleanup, which started recently with a mass disconnection in Government Reservation Area (GRA) and Boundary Road in Benin City, Edo State, saw the company’s team comprising; business unit and service centre officers in these locations combing the network for illegalities.

The statement added that the exercise afforded BEDC staff opportunity to also interact with customers to identify the problems being experienced as a feedback for service improvement, with a view to resolving such complaints/issues to enable legitimate customers continue to enjoy improved service.

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The statement disclosed that the exercise also afforded BEDC staff opportunity to go to customer houses, business premises to check installed meters especially Prepaid (PPM) ones, for possible bypass and/or huge debts, saying that such debts was hindering the company from optimising its service delivery.

While noting that during the clean up process customers were directed to channel their complaints to the company’s customer care unit with a view to resolving such complaints/issues quickly, its added that indebted customers were also encouraged to partake in the newly introduced Debt Rescheduling Scheme.

“Debt Rescheduling Scheme has been developed as palliative for customers who owe electricity bills and are unable to instantaneously pay such debts given various challenges which has reduced their ability to pay.

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“The scheme provides the opportunity or possibility to restructure the terms and conditions for them to be able to settle their outstanding consumption bills on longer payment period of up to 60 months.

“We used the exercise to send a clear message to non-responsive customers that BEDC will not allow infractions to continue within in the network.

“The interaction was friendly and business-oriented. We assisted some of them resolve their issues, while several disconnections took place of others who were hugely indebted or illegally connected.

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“The whole essence was to enable customers know that BEDC services in terms of energy distribution is sustainable if they pay their bills promptly,” the statement reads.

The statement further added that customers willing to settle debts signed debt rescheduling agreements during the exercise, while those with meter infractions and other illegalities were issued disconnection notices.

READ ALSO: BEDC Decries Rise In Vandalism, Wants Stern Punishment For Perpetrators

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It reads further: “We encourage our esteemed customers to visit company’s service centres, or reach out through official communication channels, including our website, as well as partner POS Agent Channels to get a detailed insight of debt rescheduling scheme and take advantages of offered debt recovery solutions.

“In all, we appreciate what the exercise was able to achieve and we are glad that the Edo experience brought us closer to customers and also showed that we are working hard to improve customer experience by checking those infractions that could hinder our performance in the quest for improved power supply.”

The statement disclosed that the cleans up exercise will also be extended to other BEDC franchise areas in Ondo, Ekiti and Delta states, “as a measure towards enhancing the company’s performance whilst responding better to customers complaints in spite of the present period of economic difficulty.”

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Zelensky Warns Of Nuclear Disaster In Russia-Ukraine War

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned of another nuclear disaster similar to that of Chernobyl in 1986.

On Thursday, Zelensky called Russia a “terrorist state” that is holding the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant hostage.

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At Ukraine donor conference in Copenhagen, the leader said Russia is more dangerous than the Soviet Union which tried to hide the Chernobyl tragedy.

“No one needs new disasters. We must protect Europe from this threat”, Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian head reminded the world that Zaporizhzhya is not only the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, but also the third largest on earth.

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Zelensdly said the response to Russia must be comprehensive, adding that his country needs the maximum amount of weapons and ammunition.

READ ALSO: War: Russian Military Aircrafts Fly Into Alaskan Air Defence Identification Zone

The conference was organized to deliberate on long-term support for military hardware and mine clearing.

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A number of representatives from more than 20 countries, including several defence ministers, attended.

Denmark promised it would support Ukraine with a further €110 million for weapons, equipment and training.

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Sierra Leone: 30 Policemen, Civilians Killed In protest Over High Cost Of Living

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The protest in Sierra Leone over the high cost of living has claimed the lives of dozens of people.

The deceased include eight police officers and more than 21 civilians who took part in anti-government marches.

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Thousands stormed the streets of the capital Freetown on Wednesday, protesting inflation and the harsh economic condition.

The government has declared a nationwide curfew in a bid to stop the massive protest from spreading.

Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh made the announcement on a television broadcast.

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Jalloh said it was high time the country returned to normalcy, adding that the authorities would no longer tolerate violence.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Protesters Set Fleeing Sri Lankan PM’s House On Fire

The military and the police have been drafted to strategic locations to forestall further demonstrations.

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President Julius Maada Bio, who has been asked to leave power, said his administration has a responsibility to protect every citizen.

What happened was unfortunate and will be fully investigated. I urge all Sierra Leoneans to be calm”, he tweeted.

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Mastermind Of February Cell Break In Rivers Re-arrested

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Operatives of Rivers State Command have re-arrested one Robinson Michael, who is alleged to have masterminded the cell break in Okirika Police Division in February, 2022.

The cell break led to the escape of Micheal and many others, 3 of which were high profile criminals.

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Michael, who allegedly defiled an underaged girl escaped from the custody of Okirika Police Division 24 hours to the day he was to be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation.

DAILY POST gathered that the suspect has now been transferred to State CID for proper investigation and possibly prosecution.

The Public Relations officer of Rivers State Police command, SP, Grace Iringe Koko has also confirmed the rearrest of the suspect.

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The police spokesperson said the arrest was made possible through the effort of Commissioner of Police, CP Friday Eboka.

READ ALSO: Buhari Plays Host To Relatives Of Kaduna Train Attack Victims

News of his escape from custody broke after a complainant, Hezekiah Theophilus had raised alarm in February that a suspect in a defilement case he had reported to the Okirika Police Division had escaped alongside other suspected criminals.

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The development attracted widespread condemnation from many quarters and the Commissioner of Police immediately ordered a thorough investigation into the incident.

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