The Delta State House of Assembly has asked the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to enhance supply of electricity to communities in the state.
Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Mr. Johnson Erijo, made the appeal in Benin when he led other members of the committee on an advocacy visit to the BEDC headquarters. He said power remained key to drive the development agenda of the State Government.
Erijo also said that BEDC was rendering crucial service to the development of the state and stressed the need for the company to improve on the services.
Accompanied by two other members of the committee, Dr. Alphonsus Ojo and Mrs. Orezi Esievo and the Delta State Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Newworld Safugha, among others, Erijo said the Delta State government was faced with a lot of challenges doing business with BEDC and appealed that the issues be addressed.
The lawmaker pointed out the difficulty in obtaining approval for government sponsored projects and delay in commissioning BEDC approved electricity projects as well as the issue of metering and estimated billing system, stressing that they all come with their negative narratives.
Erijo also drew the attention of BEDC management to the fact that while some communities were faced with the problem of irregular and inadequate power supply, many are in Delta State are without light at all and appealed for restoration of power supply to the areas.
He said the visit was to seek better ways of sustainable good working relationship between Management and the Delta State House of Assembly as that would no doubt improve BEDC services to the people and government of Delta State for growth and development of the state.
Delta State Commissioner for Energy, Newworld Safugha, said the Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration was committed to developing all parts of the state, stressing that connecting all the communities to national grid would help fast track development in the state.
Safugha commended the Delta State House of Assembly Committee on Power and Energy for collaborating with the ministry towards addressing issues of electricity challenge in the state.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, who commended the lawmakers for the visit, said there were many areas of collaboration between the company and the Delta State House of Assembly.
Mrs. Osibodu said among the BEDC’s four catchment states of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo, Delta State is regarded as closest and different as the state is host to many of its key facilities, but regretted that many of the electricity consumers in the state do not pay bills.
The BEDC Managing Director, who made power point presentations, on the scope of activities of BEDC, also enumerated other challenges including power thefts, vandalism, hostility, erection of structure under high tension lines, unauthorized connections, among others.