As distribution companies (Discos) in Nigeria intensify efforts at collecting debts owed by military and para-military formations, Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison, Ondo State commissioner of police, has summoned a meeting of all area commanders within her command on how to map out modality for the immediate payment of electricity bills by residents of police barracks in the state.
Ibifuro-Harrison disclosed this during a courtesy visit by Ernest Edgar, chief state head, Ondo/Ekiti states, Benin Electricity Distribution plc (BEDC), in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
In a statement signed by Kunbi Labiyi, BEDC chief corporate services officer, Edgar confirmed that with respect to payment for police stations and offices, the Force headquarters have been duly advised and that payment would commence soon.
The police commissioner said the change mantra of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government must start from every individual and the Nigerian Police Force must be seen as leading from the front.
Edgar commended the command for the timely arraignment of two vandals with conviction and sentencing of one of them to two years imprisonment by the Odigbo Magistrate Court.
Edgar also lauded the CP for her exemplary and professional disposition while asserting that such patriotic leadership was needed in the polity at this crucial phase of change.
Last Tuesday, the BEDC had honoured the Odigbo community in Ondo State for demonstrating awareness and responsibility in the apprehension of electricity equipment vandals in the town.
Speaking at the reception held at the palace of the Odigbo, head of agents and channels development, BEDC, Felicia Nlemoha, who represented the managing director/chief executive, said since the police and other law enforcement agencies could not be everywhere the communities should rise up to the task of protecting electricity installations in their domain used in supplying services to them.
While commenting on the low power generation to the grid, which has limited the capacity of BEDC to distribute electricity based on demand, Nlemoha urged residents of Odigbo community to take advantage of BEDC’s payment channels, including Point of Sales (PoS), to pay their bills and help improve the power sector.
Responding, the traditional ruler of Odigbo community, Oba Rufus Olugboyega Akinrinmade said despite the fact that the vandals were from his domain he insisted that justice prevailed to serve as deterrent to others and to also preserve his integrity.
Oba Akinrinmade commended the efforts of BEDC Ondo business unit, urging his people to pay for electricity, adding that his community was sensitised on prompt payment of bills and that his people would keep their own side of the agreement signed with the Ondo State government.
He assured that his kingdom shall protect staff and equipment of BEDC in their domain, saying he should be informed of any challenges militating against BEDC operations.
It would be recalled that the reception was meant to identify with the Odigbo community who demonstrated deep sense of responsibility and ownership by apprehending vandals of Odiole 500KVA and Mosque 200KVA distribution transformers in the community.