Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC) has attributed the degenerating level of electricity supply to its customers in its operational areas of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States to low power generation received from the national grid occasioned by gas shortage due to pipeline vandalism.
This was disclosed last Friday by the company’s chief head, Edo State, Engr. Fidelis Obishai at a meeting between the company’s management team and the governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Obishai noted that the serious drop in power generation was affecting BEDC’s ability to distribute power to customers despite its installed capacity of 800 megawatts, stressing that what it gets as a distribution company hovers between 130 and 150 megawatts daily.
“We take no joy in not giving power supply to the people but due to the present low power generation, we are constrained,” Obishai said.
On disconnected communities, Obishai disclosed that any communities affected were based on non-payment of electricity bills, adding that once the people comply, power supply would be restored immediately.
“We do not disconnect indiscriminately but those who owe debts. For instance, in Auchi, there was a violent protest that resulted in damage of nine operational vehicles and offices and there is a recorded threat to life which is a major challenge.” BEDC is very disposed to engaging such communities in dialogue on the best way to resolving such issues no matter the level of grievances,” he added.
According to him, BEDC has submitted a formal petition to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Federal Ministry of Power and the Edo State commissioner of police.
On high electricity bill to consumers, Obishai said that there was a tariff review with effect from February 2016 approved by the regulatory agency, NERC, pointing out that the tariff regime was essentially designed to salvage the power sector and encourage continuous investments.
“BEDC has put in place a process to avoid arbitrary billing of customers, be it industrial or residential, and we ensure that customer complaints on billing are addressed with urgency. On metering, we have a robust metering programme which is being implemented religiously. However, the metering gap is huge and could not be covered within a short time. For customers without meters they are being billed on estimation in line with NERC approved estimated billing methodology,” he concluded.
Governor Oshiomhole had complained over poor supply to Edo State, the recent disconnection of some communities in Edo north and high billing to its consumers.