Benin Disco rolls out 39,000 meters, pledges better services

Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC) has announced that it has concluded plans to roll out 39,000 meters during the first half of 2017 in compliance with the directive of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to to roll out meters.

This was disclosed in a statement by BEDC made available to Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday.

The disco said the initiative stemmed from the conclusion of the disco’s first quarter customer fora across its coverage states including Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states with a pledge by the management on improved service delivery.

Head of Metering, BEDC, Engr. Meshaic Okhumeode, said the meter installation will be preceded by enumeration of customers on feeders servicing the earmarked locations to reduce power theft through bypass and illegal connections. He added that the meters will be mounted on the pole as against the practice of mounting it on residential premises, saying this will engender collective monitoring by residents within a neighbourhood and the service provider.

He also affirmed BEDC’s readiness to ensure total metering of its customers within the next five years, urging customers to be patient until the metering reaches them, as the metering will be done in batches.

In his opening remarks at the forum, Head of Key Clients Services Group, Mr Abel Enechaizam, said the fora was designed to dialogue with BEDC customers on ways to serve them better, adding that issues bordering on operations and services and the customers’ expectations were being resolved.

Enechaizam stated that there were five major stakeholders in power sector business namely; gas suppliers, generation companies (gencos), transmission, distribution companies (Discos) and consumers, stressing however that the customers were very key to the substance of the chain.

He explained that on the part of BEDC, some critical issues were equally affecting its ability to give customers the expected service delivery listing them to include non-payment of bills, low power generation, high energy theft, illegal connections and funding restrains occasioned by Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) limit and foreign exchange factor.

In his address to customers in Benin, Chief State Head, Edo State, Engr Fidelis Obishai, assured them of BEDC’s readiness to improve service delivery especially in the area of power supply, but warned against the habit of vandalizing the company’s properties at the slightest anger.

Obishai who pointed out that the task of providing power supply to customers on regular basis was being affected by the challenge of system collapse and low generation of power to the grid, said this was invariably slowing down BEDC’s ability to meet customer expectations.

In his own speech during the customer forum in Warri, Chief State Head, Delta, Mr Ernest Edgar, pledged that despite the challenges faced by BEDC, the company would still ensure that customers got the needed service delivery but warned customers to avoid all forms of illegal deals with some corrupt staff, lamenting that the high rate of theft of BEDC equipment and vandalisation was becoming worrisome.

“I also want to emphasize on this issue of vandalisation and violence. The level of violence and vandalization in Delta state is on the increase. This year alone, I know that three people have been jailed and I must commend the judiciary for that,” he said.