‘You’ve Performed Below Expectation’-Customers
The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company,(BEDC) Plc, Tuesday, February 26 disclosed that with a reviewed tariff, it will revolutionize electricity distribution and provide top services to customers by embarking on network re-alignment.
Speaking at a Public Consultation Forum in Benin City to review tariff increase, Chief Head of BEDC, Benin, Mr. Abel Enechiaziam, said the company is set to provide new distribution transformers and also provide dedicated express feeders to supply 24×7 power to identified customer groups.
The Public Consultation Forum was held across all BEDC franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti.
Abel assured that the company would actualize its proposal for an embedded power of about 300megawatts under the willing buyer, willing seller arrangement with independent power generators outside the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) national grid in order to boost power supply and meet needs of customers.
He further assured customers that it would also improve supply to commercial entities across its coverage states due to the need to enable the companies ensure job creation and balance social lives, by adding new injection substations and 500 number distribution substations to strengthen existing network.
“Plan is ongoing to invest in electrification of electrified areas and strengthening of existing network” BEDC said, adding that it also plans to ensure 100per cent metering under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) and 100per cent enumeration and proper mapping of customers to transformers and feeders.
Addressing customer complaints further, the Chief Head said BEDC would equip its Call Centre to a level where customer issues would be resolved at a point of discussion thereby making the Call Centre a one-stop shop for complaints resolution.
He noted that in all the electricity value chain process, customer was king and critical to sustenance of the sector, as he encouraged them to pay their bills, sayingthis would assure adequate, reliable and affordable power.
However, reacting, customers were angry about BEDC performance as all who spoke at the forum scored BEDC low.
A customer, while speaking, urged the company to jettison the planned increase on tariff and rather focus on improvement on power supply.
Another customer charged BEDC to tackle bypassing of meters as practised by some customers, warning that if tariff increases, bypassing would be order of the day.
On his part, another customer, said BEDC has performed below expectation and that all information presented by the company were false.
“Most of the information provided by you are false and misleading. In your information, your allocated Edo State community to Delta State, this reveals your lies and that you are not well-organised.
In his remark, Deputy General Manager, Consumer Affair of
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr. Shittu Shuaibu, said no electricity consumers should be made to pay for service not rendered by the the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs)
He said it would be a disservice to the electricity consumers by making them to pay for what they are not given.
“Electricity is two side thing, if you don’t get the service, you don’t need to pay for it. If you don’t fuel or repair generator you cannot pay electrician.
“But we want as much as possible to ensure that BEDC have what to serve you better. The most critical thing is that they must served you before they get paid.
“If you are given service, you pay for service and if you are not given light, you should challenge it through NERC process.
He explained “customers will have to report to the Customers Complaint Unit first, and if not satisfied, take it to the Forum Office and after which, you pass on to the Commission and the issues will be resolved. it doesn’t matter whether it is metering, transformer or service delivery problem,”.
Shaibu, however, assured that the commission will do everything within the armbit of the law to ensure that electricity problems are addressed in the country.
On the issue of the revocation of the company’s lincens, he said BEDC still has additional year to prove their competency.