By Osahon Osahon
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) says as part of efforts to improve electricity distribution in its states of operation it was considering entering arrangement with independent power generators to add about 300megawatts into its distribution.
It said also the proposed tariff review will revolutionize electricity distribution and provision of top services to customers across its franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti.
This is even as the Deputy General Manager (Customer Service Standards), National Electricity Regulations Commission (NERC), Dr. Shittu Shaibu, charged electricity consumers should not be made to pay for electricity not consumed.
A statement by BEDC’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Adekunle Tayo, said it will embark on network re-alignment, and provide new distribution transformers and also provide dedicated express feeders to supply power to identified customer groups round the clock.
The management at a public consultation forum in Benin, Edo State, organized for consumers ahead of the tariff review, said the embedded power of about 300megawatts under the willing buyer-willing seller arrangement with independent power generators outside the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) national grid, will boost power supply and meet needs of customers.
“BEDC assure customers that it will also improve supply to commercial entities across its coverage states due to the need to enable the companies ensure job creation and balance social lives, by adding new injection substations and 500 number distribution substations to strengthen existing network.
“This upcoming number of transmission stations will help BEDC reduce overloading and mitigate load growth, ageing equipment will be replaced in the next years to improve general public safety and ensure quality power to customers.
“Plan is ongoing to invest in electrification of electrified areas and strengthening of existing network,” the statement said.
It added that BEDC will also ensure 100 per cent metering under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) and 100 per cent enumeration and proper mapping of customers to transformers and feeders.
“In addressing customer complaints further, BEDC will equip its Call Centre to a level that customer issues will be resolved at a point of discussion, thereby making the Call Centre a one-stop shop for complaints resolution with further automation of BEDC network infrastructure, while it assured that NERC Forum offices in Ondo and Ekiti will equally be commissioned to address customer complaints,” the statement added.
The company noted that in all the electricity value chain process, the customer was king and critical to sustenance of the sector, and encourage them to pay their bills saying that this would ensure they got adequate, reliable and affordable power.
In his opening remarks at the public hearing, the Deputy General Manager, Consumer Affair, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr. Shittu Shuaibu, stated that it will be a disservice to electricity consumers to pay for energy not supplied.
“If you are given service, you pay for service and if you are not given light, you should challenge, follow the NERC process.
“First, you have to report to the Customers Complaint Unit and if you are not satisfied, you take it to the Forum Office and after which, you pass on to the Commission and your issues will be resolved and it doesn’t matter whether it is metering, whether it is transformer or service delivery.
“So, you can only pay if you are given a bill good enough for you. Our mandate is to ensure that all parties get value for money, as we strive to move the industry to the next level”, he said.