BY IKHILI EBALU, BENIN CITY
As part of efforts to curb wrong and estimated billling, the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) said it is rolling out 190,000 meters for it’s customers in Edo state in the next two years.
BEDC Executive Director, Commercial, Abu Ejoor, disclosed this in Benin City during media launch of Edo state Meter Assement Provider (MAP) scheme.
He said within two years a cumulative average of about 10,000 units would be provided monthly by BEDC in designated areas within the state.
“In Edo state, we are taking off in two major locations and the area to be covered are Government Reservation Areas to Ihama road in Edo South Senatoral district and Okpella town in Auchi in Edo North Senatoral district. MAP will carry out meters rollout in the areas location by location, route by route and street by street,”.
On how to acquire the meter, he said, customers are required to complete the customers data and survey form, after which MAP officials will assess the customers premisis in readiness for metering and the customer clears would be advised on how to pay for the meter whether single or three phase.
According to him, “metering customers will encourage the development of independent and competitive meter service in Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), eliminate estimated billing by NASI, attract private investment in provision of metering service and close metering gap among others,”.
” 44 percent of BEDC’s power allocation comes to Edo state and an average of 86,062 mega wax is delivered to the state monthly.
About 14 percent of power generated is lost due to poor network infrastructure while about 36 percent of power generated is lost through commercial theft, illegal consumption or not payment bills,” he said.
Ejoor identified the challenges facing BEDC as needed and equipment vadalisation, limitation in rearranging distribution to improve power supply, transmission bottlenecks among others.
While assuring of the company’s committment to improving its service delivery to customers, he noted that estimated billing account for over 60 percent of complaints by customers
He however called on the Edo State Civil Society Organisations not to deceive the public by carrying out unnecessary protests against BEDC for dare asking the customers to pay for consumption.
He noted that the Civil Society Organization (EDOSCO) has been involved in protest against BEDC because some of them and customers have been taken to court for illegal connections and alleged tempering with electrical fittings.