Oba of Benin Ewuare II yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to renew the licence of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) for what he called its inability to provide electricity.
Oba Ewuare II appealed to Buhari to support Governor Godwin Obaseki’s quest to find an alternative source of providing electricity.
Ewuare II spoke when President Buhari paid him a courtesy visit at his palace in Benin City during his campaign tour of the state.
He said: “Mr. President, I will not fail to mention the challenge of electricity supply in Edo State. Electricity supply is, no doubt, key to the development of any society. Unfortunately, over the years, the people of Edo State have experienced inadequate electricity supply by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
“In fact, during one of the meetings of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, we issued a communique condemning the inefficient performance of BEDC, including its estimated billing method.
“We also called for the withdrawal of the operational licence of BEDC. In its place, Traditional Rulers appealed to the federal government to encourage and support the efforts of Edo State government in seeking alternative sources of providing electricity to meet the demand of the people.”
The Bénin monarch hailed the President for the sustained fight against corruption and commended the effort at curtailing activities of Boko Haram insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.
He urged politicians to be more patriotic and concerned about the security and welfare of the people.
But the BEDC Electricity Plc (BEDC) management reacted to the monarch’s remarks, restating its commitment to improving service delivery to customers in its franchise states, including Edo.
In a statement by its Head, Corporate Affairs, Adekunle Tayo, the BEDC Electricity Plc spoke of its efforts to improve service.
The statement reads: “For Edo State in particular, we are glad that the reduction in supply to Benin metropolis occasioned by the failed 60MVA with two power transformers is almost over.
“TCN commenced work assiduously to sort out the inconveniences that this dual failure caused by arranging for replacement transformers; with the first of the two transformers being made available to BEDC for power distribution on 24th December 2018.
“In the meantime as a stop-gap measure, BEDC immediately restored power supply at an average of six hours daily availability to most of the affected areas, by connecting several of the customers on the affected feeders to the only existing functional TCN transformer.
“This was done in a manner that did not overload the system whilst providing supply albeit; on limited basis, pending when normal supply will resume, after the replacement of the faulty TCN transformers.
“BEDC also immediately commenced construction of new extending electrical lines from three different locations outside Benin to provide more power temporarily for Benin City.”
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