Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC) has congratulated the residents of Agbor made up of Ika South and Ika East local governments on the improved power supply to their areas assuring them of the company’s readiness to sustain and even improve on the development provided they pay their bills promptly. BEDC’s Chief State Head, Delta, Engr. Albert Esenabhalu, in a statement, said this in a presentation he made at the Agbor Business Unit Customer forum held at the Ezinne Event Centre, On Wednesday. It will be recalled that the Agbor area of Delta state had recorded poor electricity supply in the past due to its disadvantage network configuration as the only feeder servicing the entire area runs from Irrua covering over 62 kilometers through thick vegetation and bad roads thus constraining power supply.
However, the 132KVA line step-down at Agbor awarded over 10 years has just been commissioned thus boosting power supply. Engr. Esenabhalu affirmed that the Ika nation was getting not less than 12 hours of supply but could have been getting more if not for the challenge of low generation to the national grid occasioned by gas shortage and vandalisation of gas pipeline. He noted that generation has dropped to 1500 megawatts nationwide, saying that in such situation, it was difficult increasing supply to operational areas given BEDC allocation of 9 per cent, adding “in spite of this we need to let our customers understand the need to pay their bills as we buy energy as well, without which we cannot serve them effectively the way we want to”.
The Chief state Head who noted that the drop in power generation was affecting BEDC’s ability to circulate power to customers despite its installed capacity said that the company was working towards taking advantage of government’s window on independent power generation to augment its allocation from the grid and increase supply on the long run. He warned Agbor residents against illegal connections, bypass and vandalism of BEDC installations in their domain, emphasizing that only this could militate against electricity supply in the area. In his own contribution, Chairman, Ika south local government, Hon. Fred Ofume told the customers that the council held a meeting with BEDC management on Monday during which far reaching decisions bordering on service delivery were made after exhaustive deliberations.
According to Hon. Ofume, the decisions include the need to enumerate the communities, need to introduce Point of Sales (PoS) through collection agents in lieu of banks in some areas, the setup of Electricity Committee in the communities and need to install bulk prepaid meters on the transformers in communities. Ofume who appreciated the challenges and reality BEDC was facing in the course of operating as a distribution company (Disco) promised that Agbor residents, being hospitable will do their best to assist BEDC in the realization of its corporate objectives. He however harped on the need to increase manpower of field officers reading meters of customers and those involved in tracing of faults. Customers at the event were updated on various improvement exercises embarked upon by BEDC ranging from enumeration, payment channels, Enforcement and Monitoring unit, billing and metering among others.