Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said that plans are underway by Edo, Delta, Ekiti, and Ondo States, to buy back their shares from the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and reorganize the distribution company, providing a lasting solution to the electricity crisis in the affected states.
According to Obaseki, electricity is key in driving development in any society, noting that his government has over the past seven years taken deliberate steps to encourage investments in the electricity sector to grow the state’s economy.
Speaking to newsmen, Obaseki said he is in talks with the governors to buy back their shares in BEDC, ensuring Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo States generate and distribute their own electricity.
His words: “I am discussing with my brother, the governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, and one of the things we talked about is the technicality of electricity. People think of seeing light, forgetting about the technicality involved and the last man on that channel that distributes the light is the distribution company.
“I, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo governors, we have to approach Fidelity Bank and buy back the shares in BEDC. We would make an offer to buy that back to reorganise this Company to enable us to have an Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo Distribution Company.”
“Without electricity, we can’t go anywhere. We have our own local grid which we can distribute to various communities as without electricity we are not going anywhere. Electricity is needed for economic growth and development. Those who have cheaper gas will have cheaper electricity and it will lead to cheaper cost of manufacturing and production.”
The governor further stated that, “We don’t need to wait for Abuja for money but rather have a mind shift to activate and galvanize what we have to create the money our people need.
“Now we are all in darkness; any politics that keeps us in darkness is bad politics as everybody wants light no matter the political divide. No political party wants to stay in darkness, as the conversation started many months ago on purchasing the shares of BEDC, we can rapidly progress.
“The original buyers of the shares of BEDC know what they did. They went bankrupt as the bank took those shares and tried to sell to others but we have signified our interest to buy to ensure the bank doesn’t sell to the wrong people that will keep us in darkness again.”
He added that, “We will buy, let us sit down to discuss. We want to buy the share not because we want to run an electricity business or company but want to sit at the table to supervise and decide on the expert that will do it right. Maybe it’s time to take charge of our own territory. Benin electricity should give Benin light while that of Delta produces that of Delta State, it’s possible.”