The Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC) has urged the Ondo State Government to create industrial layout for energy concentration to enable it boost economic activities , even as it promised to restore power supply to six Akoko communities, under Owo Business Unit of the state.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, who stated this during a courtesy visit by the top officials of the company to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in Akure disclosed that the company had already partnered the state to boost its economic activity by completing electricity projects numbering 50 out of which 31 had been commissioned, while 17 others were awaiting commissioning.
Osibodu said dedicated projects would increase production capacity of industries through the reduction in the cost of power in their operation since BEDC power was cheaper than any alternative.
She also added that it will also make them create more jobs for indigenes and enable BEDC make more power available for economic development and job creation in the State.
Osibodu also noted that BEDC community relations department was set up to ensure proper relationship management of all communities within its network of operations.
To this end, she said the resolution to make power available to six communities had reached the final stage, adding that the six communities would be energised, having fulfilled the terms of the agreement signed.
She urged the state government and other stakeholders to join in the crusade against vandalism of the companyâ€™s property, adding that BEDC has taken some steps such as fencing of transformers to prevent destruction by vandals.
She asserted that BEDC has, through employment of graduates and technicians of Ondo State origin under its Graduate and Technician Trainee scheme, supported youth empowerment with a view to reduce youth restiveness in the state.
In addition, she stated that the partnership with Elizade University in Ilara Mokin on the Graduate training programme has also empowered a university within the state.
Osibodu also called on the governor to ensure that that there was a review in the curriculum of tertiary institutions in Ondo state such as university, polytechnics and technical colleges to make their content more in line with industries and company requirements so as to make it easier for students to use when employed.
Earlier in her presentation, Chief State Head, Ondo state, Olakunbi Labiyi had listed key challenges on power supply to the state to include; major transmission limitations restricting quantum of power delivery to the state, adding â€œ132KV lines from Oshogbo to Akure with undersized conductor covers Ondo and Ekiti states with maximum power pegged at 50MW, the feeder is often open by TCN under frequency condition and kept out until the frequency improvesâ€.
She called on the Ondo State government to lend their voice in ensuring FGN through the Ministry of Power quickly completes ongoing National Independent Power Projects (NIPP) with a view to boosting power supply to Ondo state, saying â€œthis includes the Omotosho 1x150MVA and Okitipupa 2X30MVA (to boost supply to the Ondo South) and Ogbese 2X150MVA.â€
In addition, Kunbi Labiyi called for the quick replacement of failed 60MVA power transformer in Akure TCN, and urged the government to intervene and ensure speedy completion of the on-going 330/132/33k transformer under construction along Akure/Owo road.
In his response, Akeredolu lauded BEDCâ€™s promise of partnering with Ondo government and described the youth empowerment programme through job creation as a welcome development.
Akeredolu pledged to set up a committee to work with BEDC on some of the issues raised but requested the company to move faster in reconnecting communities presently disconnected.