Tariff Review: BEDC Pledges to Improve Electricity Supply

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*Plans 300MW embedded power project

Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) yesterday said with a reviewed tariff it would revolutionise electricity distribution and provision of top services to customers by embarking on network re-alignment, and provide new distribution transformers and also provide dedicated express feeders towards ensuring power supply 24×7 to its customers.

Speaking to customers across the franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states during a public consultation forum organised ahead of the tariff review BEDC said it would actualise its proposal for an embedded power of about 300 megawatts under the willing buyer, willing seller arrangement with independent power generators outside the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) national grid, to boost power supply and meet needs of customers.

The company assured customers that it would also improve supply to commercial entities across its coverage states due to the need to enable the companies ensure job creation and balance social lives, by adding new injection substations and 500 number distribution substations to strengthen existing network.

The presentations which took place simultaneously in Benin City, Edo State, Asaba in Delta State and Akure in Ondo State was anchored by the Chief State Heads, who explained that the upcoming number of transmission stations would help BEDC reduce overloading and mitigate load growth, noting that “ageing equipment will be replaced in the next years to improve general public safety and ensure quality power to customers.”

“Plan is ongoing to invest in electrification of electrified areas and strengthening of existing network,” BEDC said, adding that it also planned to ensure 100 per cent metering under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) and 100 per cent enumeration and proper mapping of customers to transformers and feeders.

In addressing customer complaints, BEDC said it would equip its Call Centre to a level that customer issues would be resolved at a point of discussion thereby making the Call Centre a one-stop shop for complaints resolution with further automation of BEDC network infrastructure, while assuring that NERC Forum offices in Ondo and Ekiti states would equally be commissioned to address customer complaints.

The company described customer as the king in all the electricity value chain process, saying the customers are critical to sustenance of the sector. It encouraged them to pay their bills, noting that this would guarantee adequate, reliable and affordable power.

In his opening remarks, the Deputy General Manager, Consumer Affairs, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr. Shittu Shuaibu, stated that the forum was initiated by NERC to ensure that the customers who were most critical part of the electricity sector value chain was given a voice for them to air their views on the tariff review.

He disclosed that with effect from yesterday, NERC had brought out an order restricting the distribution companies from billing customers arbitrarily especially those not metered, adding that going forward NERC would ensure stricter regulations were issued to regulate the operations of distribution companies against the backdrop of complaints by customers.

“Our mandate is to ensure that all parties get value for money, as we strive to move the industry to the next level,” Shuaibu added, urging customers to voice out their complaints through the appropriate redress mechanisms for prompt action.