The Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc has described the nation’s power grid as highly unstable, with over 2,000 outages and interruptions recorded in its network coverage area of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo states between January and July.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BEDC, Mrs Funke Osibodu, disclosed this during a media briefing in Benin, Edo State, according to a statement from the power distribution firm.
Osibodu, however, said that notwithstanding the supply interruptions, the firm was able to record several improvement initiatives that impacted positively on power availability to customers in all the four states within its franchise area.
She noted that recent information from the National Bureau of Statistics stated that the BEDC had the highest number of meters among all the 11 Discos.
She said, “In Delta State, we restored electricity supply to over 54 communities, including Ibusa, Ogwashi-Uku, Ubulu-Uku, Isselu-Uku (ongoing), Ogunu, Otor-Udu, Emadaja, Iwhrekekan, Mosogar, and Onyobru Water Side Community. In addition, in order to enhance security, various streetlight projects were commissioned that are providing 24-hour supply covering over 20km in Asaba across major urban roads.
“In Edo State, power supply has also improved from two hours in 2013 to six to 10 hours for locations with severe infrastructure limitations such as Okada, Oluku, parts of Sakponba, Evbuotubu, Oliha and Siluko, all in Benin. There has been improvement from six hours to 12 and15 hours for locations with more improved infrastructure including Auchi, Edo North, GRA, Ugbowo, Okhoro and New Benin.”
According to Osibodu, there is 18 to 24 hours power supply for commercial customers on dedicated lines involving 23 hotels, several banks, eateries, shopping mall and government establishments, including Central Hospital, Edo State House of Assembly Complex, high courts, Government House.
She said in Ondo State, the BEDC had improved on special projects for commercial and industrial customers, adding that most of the educational and health institutions, and banks were enjoying over 18 hours of electricity supply.
“Customers on the Ogese main line, Ayeyemi, Christland and Sacred Heart communities in addition to Ikoshin, Igbado, Dagbe, Ajuie, Omifon, Odigbo now also have supply of between 16 and 23 hours,” she said.
In addition, there is improved supply to Oke-Igbo, Ile-Oluji, Odojumu, College, Palace, Oke Aro, Ore and Igbara Oke from three hours at take-over to minimum of six to 10 hours. Supply to other communities such as Owena, Ilara Mokin, Ogotun, and Igbara Oke has also improved.”
She added, “In Ado Ekiti, Oriapata, and Adebandele, supply availability has improved from a minimum of three to five hours to nine hours, with communities such as Otun-Ekiti, Iro-Ekiti, Ira-Ekiti, Osan and Osun-Ekiti having a minimum of 18-20 hours supply.”
Osibodu said the BEDC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with various potential suppliers for a total of 120 megawatts of power to Edo and Delta states, while discussions were at an advanced stage for another 50MW in Delta.
She said the firm had also started engaging various parties on mini-grid initiatives for the underserved and unserved communities across its franchise states and will be signing agreement with some of them soon.