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Why Power Supply Isn’t Stable, By Benin Disco MD

With a drop in the daily allocation to about 129 megawatts of electricity out of the 1,175 national power generation, there is little the Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC) could do to ensure stable power supply to its customers in Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states, the distribution companies Managing Director, Mrs Funke Osibodu, has said. She disclosed this during an interactive session with journalists at the Benin headquarters of BEDC yesterday.
According to a statement from the Disco, Mrs Osibodu, attributed the drop in the nation’s national output from the previous 3,000 megawatts to 1,175 megawatts to the vandalism of power facilities, especially through the puncturing of the gas pipeline in the Niger Delta. She explained that Nigeria needed to generate over 8,500 megawatts of electricity to have a relatively stable power supply. The BEDC boss said for her company to satisfy its consumers, it would need not less than 1,400 megawatts of electricity. She said that against the backdrop of complaints arising from billing, BEDC has developed a bill calculator that would give a rough estimate of what a customer consumed in a particular household unit within a particular period with a view to addressing the controversy generated by either underestimation or overestimation of customers’ bill. Also, Mrs Osibodu added that the company had devised a uniform to be worn by all field staff with their names and location code inscribed during repairs or fault clearance on the network in a bid to address the complaints of illegal staff ripping off customers. She said that with such uniformed customers would be able to detect fraudulent or impersonators on the field. She advised customers to report to the police anyone seen climbing electricity poles without adequate identification, adding that every field staff of BEDC was expected to wear the uniform, helmet and unique identifying numbers. To ensure equitable distribution of available power, Mrs Osibodu said the BEDC had concluded plans to remove not 600 consumers from the 33MVA cables coming directly from the transmission lines to 11KVA lines. The BEDC boss lamented that not less than 3000 consumers were connected directly to the 33 MVA in the four states it is operating, a factor she said is adversely affecting their operations. Mrs Osibodu said: “BEDC is the only distribution company that is involved in power sharing even though it is not involved in power generation, so, it is whatever that is allocated to us that we share among the four states.”

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