Benin Disco invests N2.7bn on smart-meters

Edo Assembly summons electric company over estimated bills
Funke Osibodu, Chief Executive Officer, BEDC

The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) is set to further cut down the number of its customers without smart-meter by 100, 000, just as it indicated readiness to invest N2.7 billion needed to place all its over 741, 000 customers on smart meters.

Benin Disco invests N2.7bn on smart-meters
Funke Osibodu, Chief Executive Officer, BEDC

Mrs Funke Osibodu, Chief Executive Officer, BEDC, who said this at a parley with newsmen, stated that the company had recruited 250 young graduates in a bid to give top service to its 741,376 customers.

“The recruitment is in two batches: The first batch consisting 100 young graduates has been completed while 150 young graduates for the second batch are undergoing training as we speak,” she explained.

Osibodu stated the readiness of her company to invest N2.7 billion needed to solve the metering challenge in its network.

The Benin Disco CEO lamented that the Discos took the blame for every problem in the power sector because they directly interface with the power consumers.

She said: “We don’t have control over generation and transmission. We are like collection agents for the entire power industry. Across the financial value chain in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), we get just 25 per cent of the total collections.

“Once we collect the billing from the customers, the generation companies (GENCOS) get 60 per cent, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) gets 11 per cen. We are directed to meter all our customers within one year, but we are constrained by the limit of CAPEX that we can invest. We at BEDC cannot spend above N4 billion per year as capital expenditure and if we invest above that, we won’t be able to recover our investment due to the present tariff structure.”

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