26 August 2015, Benin – Ahead of the proposed customer forum aimed at increasing electricity tariff, the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has appealed for customers’ cooperation, saying that the review is not for the disco alone but for other sectors in the power chain.
Contrary to the notion that money collected (fixed charge and regular charge) was for the disco alone, it said the Discos only retain 25 per cent to address challenges of electricity, whereas 60 per cent, 11 percent and 4 per cent goes to Gencos, the Transmission firm and the regulator of bulk trading respectively.
The Benin Disco made the disclosure in an address presented by its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, at a workshop organised by the firm in Benin City yesterday.
Osibodu whose address was read by the company’s Chief Legal Officer, Lucky Ayomotor, noted that the gathering was to exchange information on the “proposed tariff review and to provide update on our journey so far in addition to our future plans,” saying that the Benin Disco became a private institution form November 1, 2013 as a result of the unbundling and privatisation of the power sector.
“I will like to state that the proposed tariff review is to ensure the customers have more power by ensuring the value chain of generation, transmission and distribution companies have a cost reflective tariff that will ensure sustainable investment and payment for services,” she declared.
The BEDC boss who pointed out that its area of operation span four states of Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ekiti upon takeover, stressed that the company’s strategy to improve power was in three folds so that the customer will have value for their money.
She listed the strategies to include educating the customers for them to understand the firm and its operations as this could not be achieved pre-privatisation; to clean up the business and commence new operations with improvement visible to customers whose full impact was expected by next year; and begin major transformation to ensure provision of additional power from other sources outside the national grid.
“We expect to feel the impact of this from 2017 when these new generation would have fully taken root,” Osibodu stressed, adding that Benin Disco has engaged NDPL Tata (India) and GUMCO Nigeria as technical partners in this regard.
She however, stated that in line with the establisment’s strategy and in the process of clean up, a number of issues were discovered such as poor network condition with overloaded feeders and transformers which led to poor power provision, poor customer service orientation on metering, billing, illegal connection and power theft by some customers; as well as poor and manual record keeping and accounting which the company was trying to overcome for more effective power supply.
According to her: “The conclusion of our findings was that customers were not being served though they expect value for money.
Her words: “Therefore our key focus in addressing these issues and in order to reposition, we intend to provide good service to the customers, ensure operational efficiency and have a well trained, motivated and highly competent workforce.”
– This Day