18 March 2014, Benin – The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) said to overcome the power challenges in the areas covered by it, over N45 billion would be required in order to improve the network and increase meter availability.
Managing Director of the company, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, who said this in a presentation, maintained that this massive investment is required over a sustained period of several years before positive results could be visible in states ( Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo) covered by the company.
Located in transmission network hob of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states, the BEDC, Osibodu said, is allocated nine percent but sometimes gets up to 12 percent power availability, which is the highest in the country.
She said: “Massive investment of over N45billion is required over a sustained period of several years before positive results can be visible. BEDC management focus is to address the rot in infrastructure and to reposition the company on the path of providing good service to the customers and ensuring operational viability.”
Others, according to the BEDC Chief executive Officer, are “ensuring financial viability, meeting the requirements of the regulators, especially Nigerian Electricity Regulating Commission (NERC) and having well trained, motivated and highly competent workforce.
“We are in the largest gas producing terrain – key source of cheapest power- Delta State and the company has largest number of power plants around it.”
These investments are important, according to the Managing Director, because the company’s network condition, which was inherited was aged, undersized and over extended high tension/low tension lines.
She said: “The customers are also required to pay their bills promptly to avoid disconnection. Currently, majority is not paying and owes the company whilst several are bypassing (stealing power through illegal connection).
She enjoined those paying to monitor their neighbors as diversion and illegal consumption of power results in high tariff, which are indirectly paid for by those paying their bills.
– Peter Egwuatu, Vanguard