By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has been slammed for the treated he meted out to the Managing Director of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Mrs Funke Osibodu, recently at the Government House.
During a meeting with members of the National Assembly this week, the Governor ordered Mrs Osibodu and her colleagues out of his office, claiming her company has plunged the state into total darkness.
Reacting to the matter, the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) said in a statement that it was wrong for Mr Obaseki to pour his anger on the BEDC chief.
The Executive Director for Research and Advocacy at ANED, Mr Sunday Oduntan, said, “What is most unfortunate about the whole episode is that there is a misunderstanding about how the power sector works and this has led to the Governor’s unfair expectations from BEDC.
“I cannot also rule out with the upcoming elections and everyone looking for scapegoats, that local politics may be involved in this case and that is highly unfortunate.”
While educating the Governor on his claim that Edo State generates over 600MW and as such should not be encountering power supply challenges, Mr Oduntan stressed that Mr Obaseki “needs to understand that the power generated at Azura or any other power plant in the country for that matter is first sent to the national grid from where it is redistributed to different DisCos for distribution to customers.
“Benin DisCo is only entitled to 9 percent of the power sent out from the national grid so it is clear that the DisCo does not have the power to retain the 600MW generated by Azura.
“More interestingly is the fact that out of this 9 percent, over 40 percent of it is distributed within Edo State as the host community of the DisCo. The other three states in the franchise area; Delta, Ekiti and Ondo States, share the remaining 60 percent.
“You can clearly see therefore that Edo state enjoys the lion share of what the DisCo gets already. To allocate more to Edo, which is what the Governor is advocating for, will be grossly unfair to the other states.”
Mr Oduntan also mentioned it is unfair to attack a DisCo that is on record as having the highest number of pre-paid meters in the country all in a bid to ensure customers get value for their money as well as to end the practise of estimated billing within its franchise area.
An earlier released statement by BEDC reported that the company had completed plans to roll more pre-paid meters with effect from first quarter of 2019 under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) programme of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory omission (NERC) to further accelerate the metering of consumers.
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