ANED calls for understanding over outage in Benin
The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED, has called for better understanding in the ongoing row between the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, and the management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC).
The plea follows an unpleasant altercation on Tuesday, between the Governor and the management of BEDC, when the latter visited the Government House, Benin to explain recent outage in the city.
The House of Representatives Committee on Power, had undertaken an oversight visit to power related institutions in Edo State, in the company of officials of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); BEDC; the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN); and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC). This was to update and assist in finding solutions to the recent power related issues in Benin.
In reaction to the altercation, ANED’s Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Sunday Oduntan, in a statement, expressed the association’s displeasure over the treatment meted out to Mrs Funke Osibodu, BEDC Managing Director, by the Governor during the visit, for “…failing to meet obligations to electricity consumers in the state.”
Oduntan, who described the incidence as “most unfortunate”, blamed it on “a misunderstanding about how the power sector works,” on the part of the Governor.
In reaction to the ill-treatment on account of poor electricity supply, BEDC management had explained that “of the nine per cent allocation that BEDC gets from the National Grid, Edo State gets above 40 per cent, while the other three states (Delta, Ondo and Ekiti) share the balance.”
It added that the Disco would continue to “work towards ensuring that various bottlenecks across the power value chain are eliminated to the benefit of our customers in all our franchise states.”
Expatiating further on how supply works; Odutan noted that ordinarily, since Edo generates over 600 megawatts MW power through the Azura Plant, the state should not experience power supply challenges.
“However, he (Obaseki) needs to understand that the power generated from any power plant in the country, is first sent to the national grid from where it is redistributed to different DisCos for distribution to customers,” he said.
Besides, he added, given that Edo enjoys the lion share (40 per cent) power allocated to the Disco for its franchise states, “To allocate more to Edo – which is what the Governor is advocating for will be grossly unfair to the other states,” he maintained.
The Benin Disco had earlier reassured of completed plans to roll more pre-paid meters with effect from first quarter of 2019 under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) programme of the NERC, to further accelerate the metering of consumers in its bid to serve its customers better.