By Iduozee Paul
The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc., insists the company and the state government must meet on a round table to fine-tune ways to end power outage in the state saying the company works under a regulatory body.
Managing Director of the company, Funke Osigbodu represented by the chief state head, Edo State, Mr. Abel Enechaziam said this in Benin while reacting to the 48 hours ultimatum issued the power distribution company by the state government.
The Edo State government had given BEDC and Ossiomo Power and Infrastructure Power Company Lltda two-day deadline to reach a final agreement on a power generation and distribution plan in the state.
The state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu gave the warning in his office in Benin saying that if they allow government take the initiative and do it its own way, the agreement will be binding on all the parties.
The warning was against the background of legal bottlenecks caused by the suit instituted by BEDC seeking to stop the implementation of the bilateral agreement meant to prepare ground for an efficient power generation and distribution that would satisfy consumers in the state.
Osigbodu said heeding to the state government ultimatum without doing it the right way would undermine the safety of the citizens.
“I want to use this opportunity to clear the air on the ultimatum given to BEDC. BEDC has always be on the fore- front of attending meetings regarding the bilateral agreement we have with government and Ossiomo Power Plant but Ossiomo is never present in all the meetings.
“Power is being regulated and they have regulatory guidelines which we must follow.There were over 25 areas we had disagreement; we are bent to allow other issues to go except two major issues that are injurious to the citizens of the state.
“We need to clear those two major issues which we believe are not in the interest of the people of the state not because we don’t have cordial relationships,but because we don’t want to sidetrack regulatory things. Some major issues are injurious to the people.
“The agreement we are to sign will be signed when these issues are resolved. You can see some lines on Sapele road were lines are sleeping on some lines. That itself is disaster waiting to happen.Part of what we are saying is that these two issues have to be resolved before embarking on that construction.
“The agreement will be signed when these two things happen-valuation of the lines to be used to convey power; valuation of the line through open competitive and transparent tendering process
“The second issue is that OF operations and management of this line. They want to run a distribution within a distribution and we are saying no but we can allow you to appoint your person to work under the supervision of BEDC”, she said.
The MD said the company has been able to provide meter in 2500 houses against the 10000 targeted adding that it regretted the slow pace in the metering process across the franchise states.