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We need 1,400mw to provide 24-hour power — BEDC

We need 1,400mw to provide 24-hour power — BEDC
Written by Maritime First

…As Kebbi Govt. partners UNIDO for independent power supply***

The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), on Tuesday said it needed a minimum of 1,400 mega watts of electricity to be able to provide 24-hour power supply to customers in its franchise areas.

The BEDC franchise areas are Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States.

Abel Enechaziam, Chief State Head, BEDC, disclosed this during the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) and BEDC public consultation forum held in Benin, Edo.

“We need a minimum of 1,400 mega watts but what is currently available to us is between 300 mega watts and 350 mega watts which are far below what we need to give customers 24 hours power supply.

“As part of plan to address the deficit, the company is partnering embedded companies to generate between 800 mega watts and 1,000 mega watts through willing buyers,” he said.

The BEDC boss said the company lost about 55 per cent of power to the activities of vandals and through electricity theft adding that the company also was owed billions of naira by debtors.

While assuring of improved power supply in 2020 to customers, he, however, admitted that the company had not achieved 100 per cent in its performance.

On his part, Shittu Shaibu, Deputy General Manager, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory commission (NERC), urged electricity consumers not to pay for the service not rendered to them by DISCOs.

“Electricity is a two-side thing, if you do not get the service, you do not need to pay for it. But, we want as much as possible to ensure that they have what is needed to serve you better.

“First, you have to report any problem to the customers’ complaints unit and if you are not satisfied you take it to the forum office.

“After which you pass on to the commission and your issues will be resolved and it does not matter whether it is metering, transformer or service delivery problem,” he added.

Shaibu, however, assured that the commission would do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure that electricity problems were addressed in the country.

Also read:  Electricity consumers oppose tariff increment by Ikeja Electric

On the issue of the revocation of BEDC operating licence, he said the electricity company still had up to December 2020 to prove its competency.

Electricity consumers as well as members of Edo Civil Society Organisations, (EDOCSO), who spoke at the event, urged BEDC to improve on power supply to customers before any tariff increment.

Meanwhile, the Kebbi State Government in collaboration with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has step-up efforts for an independent power supply for the state through hydro-electric source.

This is contained in a statement by Alhaji Abubakar Dakingari, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Atiku Bagudu and made available to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Sunday.
The CPS said the position was made known during an interactive session between a delegation of UNIDO and officials of Kebbi State Government led by Gov. Abubakar Bagudu held in Birnin Kebbi.
According to him, there is the possibility that Kebbi State will enjoy independent power supply through hydro-electric source to be located in either Zauro, Kende or Zuru to boost the Industrial quest of the state.
Speaking at the session, the UNIDO representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office, Mr Jean Bankole who led UNIDO team,  said the organisation considered electricity supply as a critical major sector of industrialisation without which industries and business could not survive.
He told the audience that creating energy supply was among the commitments of UNIDO towards conducting industrial policy for Kebbi State under the country programme for Nigeria.
Bankole added that 60 million US Dollars would be expended to hasten industrial growth, economic entrepreneurship and eradication of poverty.
The team leader noted that UNIDO would chart Environmental policy for the State in recognition of the fact that environment and industrialisation were inter-woven.
“The organisation will provide training skills and material back-up to medium and small scale entrepreneurship in realisation that women and youths who constituted majority of entrepreneurs in this category are in need of support.
“Most importantly, Kebbi State is endowed with several sources of power supply which include hydro-power, solar/wind energy as well as bio-power.”
The Regional Director stressed the importance of creating big integrated agro-industrial park that would propel the rapid industrialisation of the state.
He said UNIDO would consolidate on the policy of President Muhammadu Buhari of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty through job creation and boosting trade and commerce.
Bankole added that the organisation was actively supportive to the quest by Nigeria to diversify her economy away from oil-dependence.
He observed that no country in the world had ever attained development without going through the process of industrialisation, which he said had been the main cardinal objective of UNIDO.
Responding, Gov. Atiku Bagudu appreciated the presence of the delegation in Kebbi State preparatory to implementing UNIDO inclusive and industrial counterpart programme for the state and Nigeria at large.
Bagudu said that the success of industrialisation solidly depended on provision of power supply, stressing the need for establishing energy industrial cluster in the state.
He explained that both Zauro, Kende and Zuru, which the UNIDO team inspected had the potential to be developed as hydro-electric base.
The governor said: “Kebbi State is glad to host UNIDO in recognition of the global experience of the Agency in economic and industrial development.
“The State will provide one million dollars as its counterpart fund to the UNIDO Programme for Nigeria and I hope by 2020, some industries on ground will come on stream.
“It is very important to note that Kebbi State is naturally endowed with conducive climate and environment suitable for industries and investment.”
The governor intimated his guests about the memorandum of understanding between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Kebbi State on the production of ethanol bio-fuel, as well as modern rice processing mills already established in major cities of the state.
“In addition, the state shared common borders with the Republic of Niger and Benin, while many indigenes of Kebbi are scattered across Africa and the world as professionals and business people.

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