The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), on Tuesday said it needed a minimum of 1,400 mega watts of electricity to be able to provide 24-hour power supply to customers in its franchise areas.
The BEDC franchise areas are Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States.
Abel Enechaziam, Chief State Head, BEDC, disclosed this during the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) and BEDC public consultation forum held in Benin, Edo.
“We need a minimum of 1,400 mega watts but what is currently available to us is between 300 mega watts and 350 mega watts which are far below what we need to give customers 24 hours power supply.
“As part of plan to address the deficit, the company is partnering embedded companies to generate between 800 mega watts and 1,000 mega watts through willing buyers,” he said.
The BEDC boss said the company lost about 55 per cent of power to the activities of vandals and through electricity theft adding that the company also was owed billions of naira by debtors.
While assuring of improved power supply in 2020 to customers, he, however, admitted that the company had not achieved 100 per cent in its performance.
On his part, Shittu Shaibu, Deputy General Manager, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory commission (NERC), urged electricity consumers not to pay for the service not rendered to them by DISCOs.
“Electricity is a two-side thing, if you do not get the service, you do not need to pay for it. But, we want as much as possible to ensure that they have what is needed to serve you better.
“First, you have to report any problem to the customers’ complaints unit and if you are not satisfied you take it to the forum office.
“After which you pass on to the commission and your issues will be resolved and it does not matter whether it is metering, transformer or service delivery problem,” he added.
Shaibu, however, assured that the commission would do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure that electricity problems were addressed in the country.
On the issue of the revocation of BEDC operating license, he said the electricity company still had up to December 2020 to prove its competency.
Electricity consumers as well as members of Edo Civil Society Organisations, (EDOCSO), who spoke at the event, urged BEDC to improve on power supply to customers before any tariff increment.