Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC) has urged Ondo State to create industrial layout for energy concentration to enable it boost economic activities, even as it promised to restore power supply to six Akoko communities, under the Owo Business Unit of the state.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Funke Osibodu, who led a courtesy visit by the Management to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in Akure, disclosed that the company already partnered with the state to boost its economic activities.
To this end, she said BEDC had completed about 50 electricity projects out of which 31 had been commissioned, while 17 others were awaiting commissioning.Osibodu said in a statement that the dedicated projects will increase production capacity of industries through the reduction in the cost of power in their operation since BEDC power is cheaper than any alternative. She added that it will also make them create more jobs for indigenes and enable
BEDC make more power available for economic development and job creation in the State.She noted that BEDC community relations department was set up to ensure proper relationship management of all communities within its network of operations.
Osibodu urged the State Government and other stakeholders to join in the crusade against vandalism of the company’s property, adding that BEDC has taken some steps such as fencing of transformers to prevent destruction by vandals.
She asserted that BEDC has through employment of graduates and technicians of Ondo State origin under its Graduate and Technician Trainee scheme, supported youth empowerment with a view to reducing youth restiveness in the state.
In addition, the partnership with Elizade University in Ilara Mokin on the Graduate training programme has also empowered the institution.Osibodu also called on the governor to ensure that there was a review in the curriculum of tertiary institutions in Ondo State such as universities, polytechnics and technical colleges to make their content more in line with industry and company requirements. This will make it easier for students to use when employed.
Earlier in her presentation, Chief State Head, Ondo, Olakunbi Labiyi, listed key challenges on power supply to the state to include major transmission limitations restricting the quantum of power delivery to the state.
She added “132KV lines from Oshogbo to Akure with undersized conductor covers Ondo and Ekiti states with maximum power pegged at 50MW, the feeder is often open by TCN under frequency condition and kept out until the frequency improves”.
She called on the Ondo State Government to urge the Ministry of Power to quickly complete ongoing National Independent Power Projects (NIPPs) with a view to boosting electricity supply to the state. “These include the Omotosho 1x150MVA and Okitipupa 2X30MVA (to boost supply to the Ondo South) and Ogbese 2X150MVA.”
Labiyi called for the quick replacement of failed 60MVA power transformer in Akure TCN, and urged the government to intervene and ensure speedy completion of the on-going 330/132/33k transformer under construction along Akure/Owo road.
Responding, Governor Akeredolu lauded BEDC’s promise to partner with the Government, and described the youth empowerment programme through job creation as a welcome development.
Akeredolu pledged to set up a committee to work with BEDC on some of the issues raised but requested the management to move faster in reconnecting communities presently disconnected.
Source: The Guardian