Provide Bulk Metering To Tackle Over-Estimated Billings, Delta Commissioner Tasks BEDC

By Kelvin Ohoror

Delta State Commissioner for Energy, Engr. Jonathan Ukodhiko has frowned at the continuing ripping-off of rural communities in Delta State through over-estimated billings by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, (BEDC).

Speaking to journalists at the weekend in Asaba, the Delta State capital, Engr. Jonathan Ukodhiko said most rural communities were groaning under huge electricity bills as a result of Over-estimated billings by BEDC.

He said that many of them were in darkness because they were unable to pay the high bills unilaterally allocated to them by BEDC.

According to him, you can’t continue to give people estimated bills, provide a bulk metering system for the communities so that they can pay for what they consume.

“I found out that most of the rural areas are in a big mess, even places connected to the national grids have no light. Why is there no light? BEDC said It is because most of the people are not paying.

“What do you mean by these people are not paying? You can not continue giving people over-estimated bills and expect them to pay.

“So we are discussing with BEDC to meter these communities. What we are looking to do now is to see how we can provide a bulk metering system for these communities that are connected to the National grid. Henceforth, they will be able to pay for what they consume.

“Because for a fact, BEDC does not even have the power to distribute. As we know the whole country is generating about 2500 megawatts, which is been shared to the whole of the country, even at that BEDC is not even paying or buying from the GENCOs maybe because the people are not paying.

“What they do is that the little they get, they distribute it to the people that can pay in industrial areas, towns, and oil states.

“So what we are doing is to provide a bulk metering system for these people, encourage BEDC to buy more Power from Generating Companies (GENCOs), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to transmit to our people,” he said.

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The Energy Commissioner said plans were underway to provide power to communities not currently connected to the National grid.

“Also, those places that are not connected to the National grid right now, there are many programmes that are being championed by multinational organisations and also with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on how we can provide power to these communities that are off the grid, either through the solar system or what is called ‘home solar system’ in other to provide power for the rural communities.

“The Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has already approved through CBN collaboration and very soon most of our rural communities will be connected and they will also enjoy the dividends of democracy,” Ukodhiko stated.

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