Despite the interruption occasioned by COVID 19, BEDC Electricity Plc (BEDC) said it has inaugurated some projects to improve power supplies to customers in its franchise area, even as it says it has metered about 40,000 customers under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) of the Federal Government as at July ending.
It’s Managing Director/CEO, Mrs Funke Osibodu who stated this during a media parley at the company’s Head office in Benin, Edo state, listed
some of the projects commissioned to boost network infrastructure to include; UNIBEN Ekenwan 15MVA injection substation meant to stabilize power supply to the University of Benin and environs, 33KV injection substation at Evbuabogun, Benin done to reduce the duration of interruption in electricity supply and outage to both commercial customers and communities in that location and Evbuoriaria axis in Benin and the DDPA, Warri 7.5MVA, 33/11KV injection substation meant to serve the Delta Development and Property Agency (DDPA) and Ugborokoko community both in Warri.
The project she said would create separate feeders and improve their power availability to a steady supply of between 12 and 8hours minimum respectively.
“BEDC has taken delivery of 54,198 out of the 75,870 meters allocated for distribution to customers under the NMMP Phase 0 level whilst we have completed the installation of nearly 40,000 meters across the four states that we cover as at July ending. BEDC is installing meters on the pole to reduce the incidence of bypass and other forms of energy theft which is prevalent in the network”, she stated
She disclosed that between 2019 and early 2021, the company connected a total number of 108 transformers back to the national grid across its franchise, noting that out of this figure; 34 were done in Edo, 55 done in Delta, 12 in Ondo, while seven of such transformers were reconnected in Ekiti respectively.
Oshibodu listed some of the benefiting communities to include Woghiren-Ugbor in Etete, Iguadolor in Evbuotubu, Iyanamo and Ohoghobi Phase 2 in Etete all in Benin, Edo state, Ijelu-Ekiti, Ijero-Ekiti, Omu-Ekiti, Erinmope and Hospital 2 communities in Ekiti state.
In Ondo state, the affected communities include, Graceland 2 Estate, Akure, Imoru and St. Catherine in Owo town, Oke-Ile, Odibo, Ikuyemi, Okelusi, Ikota, Ibuji and Erigi all in Igbara-Oke Akure, Ondo state, while communities in Delta that benefited were; Odibo layout in Warri, Idumu Ogo in Asaba, Okiirigbagha in Sapele, Aladja, Ogbe Ijoh in Otor-Udu, Finger of God Estate, Ugboba, Ugbolu in Asaba.
“Recognising the financial difficulties that customers are going through especially during this period of COVID 19, BEDC has begun a Debt Rescheduling Scheme (DRS) for customers in its coverage areas”, she added, explaining that this was a soft-landing approach for customers to settle outstanding debts on electricity consumption “as it offers discount ranging from 5% to 25%, down payment of 25%, with balance payable over up to 5years or provision of an additional 5% discount where a customer pays off such outstanding instantly.”
According to her, BEDC would soon begin the introduction of and enrolment of its customers on the Electronic Billing (E-Billing) platform stressing that electronic billing reduces the risks of lost statements, improves reconciliation whilst providing history , and reduces identity frauds as no third party is involved among other benefits, in addition to being COVID 19 compliant as no physical third party handling is required..