Residents of Benin and its environs have commended the federal government and the Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC) for the improvement in power supply to their areas.
Some of the residents who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin, in separate interviews, said the commendation was against the background of their experience within the last quarter of 2018.
The people said that with the improvement in power supply, they had been enjoying electricity from a near zero hour daily to at least, 12 hours daily supply.
They further stressed that the improvement in electricity supply had remarkably led to the improvement in their means of livelihood as well as their lifestyle.
A resident around Abuja quarters in Ugbor, Benin, Mr. Osaigwe Aghedo, said the electricity supply to his area was constant at 12 hours daily.
“It is usually brought for every three hours, I mean three hours on and three hours off, which add up to 12 hours daily and it has been ongoing since January,” he said.
Aghedo said this was not the case between October and November 2018, when residents practically stayed in the dark for weeks.
Another resident, Miss Jemima Osaikhuiwuomwan, who lives around Iduoriyekemwen area of Ugbowo, said that most areas around Isihor had also been enjoying 18 hours power supply daily.
“I don’t know where the electricity supply came from, but it has improved recently to the extent that sometime I have to switch off some of my electrical gadgets, “she said.
The story is the same with John Omoruyi and Festus Napoleon who both reside at Irhirhi area, off Airport road, Benin.
They said that the area usually have power up to 12 hours daily supply.
The duo, however, bemoaned the issue of estimated billing which they described as “extortion.”
Similarly, Osato Udiase who resides at Utese, Ovia North East Local Government Area, said that the communities around his area benefitted from supply between 12 to 20 hours daily “unlike before.’’
While commending BEDC for the improved electricity supply, he also decried the excessive billing system.
Also commenting, Mr. Kayode Osasuyi from Olumoye community in the same Ovia North East remarked that “we enjoy the light for at least 14hours daily except when there is fault or during rainy season. BEDC officials do the fault tracing promptly and restore power afterwards.”
NAN reports that the state in general and residents of Benin in particular had experienced poor power supply for the better part of the last quarter of 2018.
BEDC had disclosed that it has restored power supply back to some parts of Benin metropolis after the recent outage which reduced supply to major parts of the city up till December 2018.
The restoration was made possible due to the release of one replacement transformer by TCN out of the two TCN Transformers that have been out since October 2018.
In a statement by its management, BEDC said the power outage was due to the failure of two out of the three Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) power transformers wheeling power to BEDC for distribution to customers in major parts of Benin metropolis.
BEDC explained that while the initial outage lasted, it had to, as a stop-gap measure, restore power supply at an average of nine hours daily availability to most of the affected areas by connecting several of the customers on the affected TCN transformers to the only existing functional TCN transformer in a manner that did not overload the system and to provide supply albeit on limited basis pending when normal supply will resume after the replacement of the remaining faulty TCN transformers.