A week after protests by youth in Abuja over epileptic power supply, the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has assured its consumers in Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, and Delta states of its readiness to address power outages in the affected areas.
Tayo Adekunle, its spokesperson, gave the assurance at a press briefing in Benin on Wednesday.
Mr Adekunle said a contingency plan had been adopted to get the affected areas connected.
He said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was assisting the BEDC to replace some faulty transformers.
Many parts of states under the BEDC franchise area had been thrown into darkness for three weeks.
This followed the breakdown of the 150MVA power transformer that supplies power to these areas.
Mr Adekunle’s comments came days after the company’s managing director, Funke Osibodu, claimed the protest against the organisation was due to the stoppage of power theft by some people.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported how groups of youth last week stormed the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Maitama, Abuja to protest against the renewal of the operational licence of the BEDC.
The protest, organised by the BEDC Franchise States Peoples’ Alliance, had protesters comprising smaller groups from Edo, Delta, Ondo, and Ekiti states.
The groups urged the ministry to avoid being compromised and demanded for the non-extension of the licence of Vigeo Holdings Limited, the firm in charge.
A leader of the protesting groups from Edo said the DISCO has not added any value to what it met, adding that the region has been groaning under heavy estimated bills with deliberate non-supply of meters.
The groups also said the BEDC has refused to provide transformers and electrical poles including ancillaries
”Since the takeover, the BEDC has not demonstrated any discernable improvement or added value to what they on the ground,” a spokesman of the group, Leftist Agho, had said.
“Nigerians have been groaning under heavy estimated bills, a deliberate non-supply of meters, molestation of customers with military personnel, refusal to connect communities to the national grid, non-provision of transformers, poles and other ancillaries.”
The group also described the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) reported one-year extension of the company’s licence as unacceptable.
The groups also asked the minister to act by sacking Funke Osibudu, the BEDC helmsman over the challenges they were having with power.
On Wednesday, Mr Adekunle said with the contingency plan in place, the company had started redistributing supply to the affected areas by taking from customers in existing functional lines.
He also said that a large part of Benin such as Irhirhi, Oko, Evbuotubu, among others would be restored with the completion of the new line to Okada feeder within the next few weeks.
“The line will be test-run on Friday, and if successful, the areas mentioned above will be restored with supply.
“There are several other areas where power has been restored when this redistribution process started arising from the faulty transformer,” he said.
The BEDC spokesperson said everybody would be taken to their normal scheduling as soon as the faulty transformer was replaced.
He said that the BEDC would continue to be a responsive and responsible distributor of electricity across the franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo, and Ekiti.
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