The Benin Electricity Distribution Company(BEDC) on Monday disclosed that it would provide 67,452 meters to consumers in Ekiti.
The Managing Director of the company, Mrs Funke Osibodu, represented by the Executive Director, Commercial, Dr Abu Ejoor, said this at the launch of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme in Ado-Ekiti.
She said the initiative would enable all consumers to have access to meters, ensure accurate metering as well as achieve mechanism toward safeguarding the rights of electricity consumers in the state
The company said metering all consumers would encourage willingness to pay the monthly bills and reduce the burden of huge debt being owed by consumers through estimated billings .
She urged the Federal Government to implement relevant laws to stop cases of vandalism, advising that mobile courts could be set up to try offenders.
Osibodu said the mapping and enumeration initiatives were in line with the directive of the National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) to encourage development of independent and competitive meter services.
According to her, it would also eliminate cases of estimated billings, attract private investments , close the metering gap and also ensure revenue assurance in the electricity supply industry.
Osibodu also gave an assurance that power would be restored in Gbonyin and Ekiti East Local Government Areas of the state that had been in darkness for over five years.
She said the power outage in the councils was caused by rejection of bulk billings by consumers in the affected areas.
” The customers’ premises will be cleared whether you want a single or double phases before you are metered.
” Metering will start from Ado Ekiti and move to other local governments
” We warn that customers should not pay cash to enumerators or mappers, rather, they should pay to our designated banks
” An average of 13,542 megawatts is supplied to Ekiti on monthly basis and 14 percent of the power generated is lost due to poor network facilities and technical losses caused by non payment of bills and theft
” We want our customers to cooperate with our officers as they move around to capture them in the two exercises because the enumeration process will help in resolving almost 60 percent of the complaints from customers,” she said.
Osibodu said that the greatest challenges of electricity suppy in Ekiti had always been transmission bottlenecks , vandalism , massive energy theft, high community unrest and huge debt owed on bills.
” We have been able to correct some of these challenges through rehabilitation of some of the damaged facilities like Ikogosi/Erinjiyan /Ipole Iloro on Aramoko 33KV and commissioning of Ado Ekiti 2.5MVA 33/11KV injection substations to increase power supply from six to 12 hours,” she said.
BEDC official in charge of Ekiti, Mrs Kunbi Labiyi , also said the company had been trying to improve electricity supply inspite of administrative and technical hitches.
Labiyi added that the BEDC was also tapping into the off grid electricity generation options in partnership with the state government.
On communities that had been in darkness for years , Labiyi said: “They found themselves in this condition because they rejected prepaid meters
” They said they preferred individual billings, which was not possible, because there was no way we could know what they were consuming.
“We are sure that their issues will be resolved after this enumeration.”