- Governor Godwin Obaseki sends away managing director of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Funke Osibodu, from his office over the pervading darkness in Edo
- Obaseki accuses the BEDC of not being committed in the duty of ensuring adequate electricity in the state
- The management of the BEDC gives its own side of the story and why the challenge has persisted
An angry Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, sent the managing director of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Funke Osibodu, away from his office for leaving residents and the state in darkness for many weeks.
The Punch reports that it was a mild drama that happened while the governor was receiving members of the House of Representatives committee on power who were in the Government House on a courtesy visit.
A statement from the Edo state government, said Obaseki was surprised to see Osibodu among the lawmakers as her name was not on the list of expected guests.
The governor was not also happy that he and millions of the residents had been in darkness for weeks. He made sure Osibodu left the venue.
“The BEDC has been an obstacle all the way. They will not provide electricity and will not allow you to get alternative sources of power. The state will not allow it.
“As governor of Edo State, we have lost confidence in the BEDC. We don’t want them here. We are in darkness.
“Let us remain in darkness until we find people who are capable of delivering electricity. This is our position,” Obaseki said after chasing Osibodu away.
The governor argued that the darkness is even despite the fact that the state generates about 600 to 700 megawatts of electricity.
He said the BEDC was not committed in its supposed duties.
“To assist, we set up electricity committee across the local government areas chaired by the deputy governor of the state, Rt Hon Philip Shaibu, with the BEDC as a member, to understand the challenge. But the BEDC frustrated our resolve to finding a lasting solution to the issue of providing electricity to our people,” the governor said.
In its reaction, however, the BEDC said the visit by the lawmakers, officials of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, was to give an update and help find solution to the lingering challenge.
“The BEDC continues to be a responsive and responsible distributor of electricity across the franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti and is committed to serving its customers better.
“In addition, it is on record that out of the nine percent allocation that the BEDC gets from the national grid, Edo State gets above 40 percent, while the other three states share the balance.
“We intend to 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.
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“As a host community, we shall also continue to support the good people of Edo State in ensuring that an enabling environment that will create jobs and improvement in the lives of the Edo citizens is sustained.
“It should be noted that Edo state has the highest number of prepaid meters all over the country and with the introduction of meter asset provider by the NERC, we shall further accelerate the metering of consumers with effect from the first quarter of 2019 when the scheme is expected to kick off in order to rapidly reduce estimated billing,” the statement said.
Legit.ng earlier reported how Nigeria's electricity generation dropped 2,684.20 megawatts as at Monday, August 13, Punch reports.
The nation's power generation went low by 777.9 megawatts as outputs from various hydro-power plants and some gas-fired stations suffered declines.
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