Drama as Edo Governor Chases BEDC Boss out of Government House
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
There was mild drama at the office of the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, as the Governor walked the Managing Director (MD) of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs Funke Osibodu, out of his office for failing to meet obligations to electricity consumers in Edo and throwing the state into darkness for weeks.
This happened when the Governor received members of the Federal House of Representatives Committee on Power led by Mr Daniel Asuquo, who were in Government House, Benin City, on a courtesy visit.
The Governor was surprised to see the BEDC boss, whose name was not on the list of expected guests to Government House, but embedded herself in the National Assembly delegation, to gain access to the Governor, who has been in darkness alongside millions of Edo State residents, for weeks.
Speaking to the delegation after Mrs Osibodu had left the gathering, the Governor said BEDC has continued to fail in collaborating with the state government to provide stable electricity in the state, instead the company has posed as an obstacle to meeting the goal.
“BEDC has been an obstacle all the way. They will not provide electricity and will not allow you to get alternative sources of power. The state will not allow it,” the Governor said.
According to him, “As Governor of Edo State, we have lost confidence in BEDC. We don’t want them here. We are in darkness. Let us remain in darkness until we find people who are capable of delivering electricity. This is our position.”
The Governor said despite the fact that the state generates about 600 to 700 megawatts of electricity, the people are still in darkness, wondering how he is expected to explain the irony to the people, who are well aware that they produce a substantial amount of electricity in the country.
He noted that BEDC has failed to recognise that they have to be patriotic and responsible to the state and the country but instead they have been noncommittal about the issue of power distribution.
“To assist, we set up electricity committee across the local government areas chaired by the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Philip Shaibu, with BEDC as member to understand the challenge. But BEDC frustrated our resolve to finding a lasting solution to the issue of providing electricity to our people.”
Earlier, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Power, Mr Daniel Asuquo, said they were in the state for an oversight function on the activities of BEDC and other players in the electricity value chain.
He said Edo State consumes half of daily power supply under the BEDC, noting that the state has the highest number of consumers on the network, which makes it critical to engage with the governor and people of the state on the level of service delivery by players in the value chain.
“We are here to see how to intervene to ensure that you deliver on your electioneering promises to the people of Edo State as you are answerable to them,” Mr Asuquo said.