By Lucky Isibor,
The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company PLC., BEDC has restated it’s commitment to the provision of pre-paid meters in it’s franchise areas which include Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo States.
The company also said it’s collaborating and encouraging genuine power generation companies to improve power supply through embedded generation.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mrs. Funke Osibodu stated this Friday, 31 January while addressing Journalists at a media parley at BEDC Head Office in Benin City.
Mrs. Osibodu who was represented by Mr. Abel Enechiaziam, the Chief State Head, Edo State said the BEDC has undertaken several projects in the last one year including the commissioning of 32 transformers, 8 new injection substations and construction of 3 new 11kv feeders.
While disclosing the processes put in place to ease acquisition of meters by customers, Osibodu said: “In October 2019, we launched our Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme with a view to closing the metering gap for BEDC customers in our coverage areas. We put in place a process for customers to access meters but observed that it was a little slow. It was against this backdrop that we unbundled the process and introduced Neighborhood Fast track scheme for customers who are ready to pay full for the cost of meter.
“We started the Neighborhood fast track in Edo State from GRA through Ihama, Delta; Koka and Asaba, Ekiti; Ado-Ekiti and Akure in Ondo respectively. Under the Neighborhood Fast track metering, BEDC provides a one-stop service to customers including; customer complaints resolution, enumeration; premise inspection, payment and metering installation with a view to quicken the metering process.
“During the exercise, BEDC achieved customer complaints resolution faster, got customers’ request attended. So far, several meters both single and three phase have been installed within the take off locations. In addition, several communities are being metered under our community metering intervention scheme”, she said.
Osibodu pointed out that having achieved a useful level of commencement that the new metering scheme will be extended to all the local government areas in Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo States.
On the recent Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission’s directive that all Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs transit to cashless platforms for industrial and commercial customers by 31st January 2020 and R3 customers by 30th March 2020, Osibodu said: “BEDC has developed a robust payment option channels for it’s customers. These channels are available to all categories of customers.”
According to her these payment platforms include BEDC POS Agents, Interswitch platform and ATM adding that customers can still utilise the POS machines in the few areas still having cash offices.
While enumerating measures to be taken by the power company to improve electricity supply in it’s area of operation, the Managing Director of BEDC said it is engaging power generating companies from across the globe in embedded generation.
“In the bid to improve the quantum and quality of power being supplied to customers, BEDC seeks to engage with power generation companies within and outside Nigeria, specialising in embedded generation in order to achieve it’s aims and objectives. We want to partner such companies that are willing to build, operate and evacuate power lines (11KV or 33KV) from their facilities to BEDC designated take-off points.”