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‘POWER’ FAILURE: Gov Obaseki sends BEDC boss out of his office

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POWER FAILURE: Gov Obaseki sends BEDC boss out of his office

Governor Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday instructed the Managing Director of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Mrs Funke Osibodu to leave his office for putting the state in darkness and for frustrating the effort of the state government in providing alternative power to the people of Edo State.

A statement from the Edo State government said the governor was firstly shocked seeing that the BEDC boss accompanied members of the House of Representatives Committee on power that paid the governor a courtesy visit.

Combined with the absence of her name from the list of persons to meet with the governor, she was asked to step out of the gathering by the governor.

After her departure, the governor told the delegation how the BEDC had continuously failed in collaborating with the state government in providing stable electricity in the state.

The statement said the governor had been in darkness alongside millions of Edo State residents for weeks.

The governor alleged that the BEDC had been standing as an obstacle on the path of the state government to generate alternative sources of power, saying that the state would not allow the act to continue.

The statement read in part, “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.”

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According to the governor, not even the generation of about 600 to 700 megawatts of electricity by the state had kept it out of darkness.

He also accused the BEDC of being noncommittal about the issue of power distribution.

“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.”

Reacting to the development, the BEDC said the House of Representatives Committee on power was accompanied to the Government House with other stakeholders including Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), BEDC, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

It said the visit was aimed at updating and assisting in finding solutions to the recent power-related issues in Benin.

It said, “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 per cent allocation that the BEDC gets from the national grid, Edo State gets above 40 per cent, 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.”

“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.”

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