By Nefishetu Yakubu
The Management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Plc, has said it had so far installed 40,000 pre-paid meters across Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo, its franchise states.
Mrs Funke Osibodu, the Managing Director/CEO, BEDC disclosed this at a media parley with newsmen in Benin, on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari initiated the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) to meter about one million electricity customers nationwide.
Osibodu told journalists that each distribution company (Disco) was allocated a number of meters to be installed for its customers, saying that BEDC had taken delivery of 54,198 out the 75,870 allocated to its customers under the NMMP phase zero level.
She explained that the meters were being installed on the pole, to reduce the incidence of bypass and other forms of energy theft prevalent on the network.
“Generally, the NMMP has been working well but slowed down a bit during this rainy season. The next phase called phase one, will commence soon.
”BEDC has been improving on the power supply arrangements for the five classes of customers categorisation,” she said.
The Managing Director also disclosed that between 2019 to date, BEDC had inaugurated several projects to boost its network infrastructure, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She listed the projects to include: the UNIBEN 15MVA-the UNIBEN 33/11KVA injection substation which, she said, had stabilised power supply to the institution and its environs.
“33/11KV injection substation Benin in Edo, DDPA Warri 7.5MVA, 33/11KV injection substation in Delta and 33KV LILO at Evbuabogun injection substation Benin in Edo, among others,” she said.
According to her, BEDC had also reconnected a total of 108 transformers back to the national grid across it’s franchise state of Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo.
“Out of this figure, 34 were reconnected in Edo, 55 in Delta, 12 in Ondo and seven in Ekiti.
“Recognising the financial difficulties that customers are going through, especially during this COVID-19 period, BEDC has also begun a debt repayment scheme for customers in its coverage areas.
“It is a soft landing for customers to settle their outstanding debts. The scheme offers discounts ranging from five per cent to 25 per cent”, she said.
Osibodu added that customers under the scheme, are required to make a 25 per cent down payment and spread the balance over four years.
She disclosed that BEDC had increased the number of its Point of Sale (POS) terminals from 1,175 to 1,341 and had concluded plans to introduce Electronic Billing (e-billing) platforms across it’s franchise areas. (NAN)