The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has said residents of Usen community in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State will soon begin to enjoy improved power supply. The company said in a statement that it was concluding plans to bring 7.5MVA in addition to the existing 7.5MVA transformer installed recently.

The Chief State Head, Edo State, BEDC, Mr. Fidelis Obishai, gave the assurances during a customer forum in Benin, and apologised to the residents of Usen community for the present poor power supply to the area. He explained that the poor supply to the community had existed before the BEDC came on board, stressing that the replacement cost for the transformer was huge.

He said the inadequate capacity of the 7.5MVA transformer resulted in massive load shedding being experienced in the community.

Obishai urged members of the Ologbo community under Ikpoba/Okha Local Government Area to form an electricity committee that would help fast-track issues bordering on power supply to the area.

According to him, there are over 1,000 communities under the purview of the BEDC, and the company gets less than the required amount of electricity from the national grid to guarantee regular power supply to the communities.

Obishai urged residents of Ulemo community in Oredo Local Government Area to pay their electricity bills promptly to enable the company to embark on repair of faulty equipment in their area and attend to other issues with prompt dispatch.

The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, was quoted as saying that massive metering of customers, though desirable, was constrained by a number of factors including energy theft through bypass, illegal connections and load diversion. He urged customers to report those bypassing their meters by way of whistle-blowing, saying that the prevalence of bypassing especially in Edo State was militating against metering.

“The BEDC, out of the 11 discos, has the highest metering rollout in the last three years. People must know that electricity is no longer a free commodity or service like road, which government is expected to provide. Electricity is also not cheap as the BEDC, like other Discos, buys electricity from the generation end at N68 and sells at N31.5, thereby underselling its product,” Oduntan said.