The agents of CitiServe, a billing aggregator with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) have staged a peaceful protest at its Benin head office over the blocking of their e-wallet account thereby preventing them from carrying out their businesses.
The agents, who are from the BEDC franchise states of Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Delta, said they had been shut out of business since April, following a misunderstanding between the BEDC and Citiserve, their parent company.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as BEDC/Citiserve enough of the suffering; refund our money, we can’t wait any longer; Listen to our humble request, this is unfair BEDC; what has agent done to deserve this treatment; agent are not slave; give us our money among others.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Maureen Gold, a BEDC agent based in Asaba, said the protest was to demand the unblocking of their e-wallet account to enable them to carry out their businesses on the BEDC platform.
She said: “We are agents with BEDC aggregator Citiserve, We have been doing business with them for the past six years but on April 30, they had issues and BEDC blocked our e-wallet and some of us have between N400,000, N500,000, N1 million in their e-wallet and we can’t access the money to carry out our business.”
Gold said “We have been coming to the BEDC office, pleading to return our money but to no avail. Our money has been tied down for over five months now, we are demanding the payment of our money and we will not leave here until the money is paid,” she said.
Responding, BEDC head of the billing department, Akintunde Akinlabi charged the protesters to channel their energy towards Citiserve, who it said stalled the payment.
“When we severed our relationship with Citiserve, we understood that some of their wallets still had some money with us and we contacted Citiserve to provide us with information but they declined”.