By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
In a bid to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the people of Ekiti State, the state government has signed a pact with the management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company(BEDC) aimed at bringing the efforts to fruition.
The State Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi signed the pact on behalf of government at a meeting in Benin City, Edo State, on Wednesday .
Faparusi who briefed newsmen in Ado- Ekiti on Thursday, expressed displeasure at the current power supply to Ekiti State, which according to him , was grossly inadequate.
“The kernel of any government is to provide business opportunities for the citizens. And to do this, power supply is key. The growth of small and medium scale enterprises is determined largely by quality of electricity supply.
“We have identified areas of challenges and we are ready to provide enabling environment for business to thrive by waging war against cases of vandalism of electricity installations, encouraging our people to pay their bills and ensure that access to uninterrupted power supply is enjoyed in the state”.
He said government would be incurablly committed to widen the scope of business activities in Ekiti, to boost the economy and reduce unemployment through power generation .
The Commissioner stressed that the Ekiti State government won’t relent in their efforts at ensuring a universal access to national grid across the state as a way of making electricity available to all and sundry.
While the BEDC Managing Director, Mrs. Funke Osibodu posited that the major hindrance to transmission of adequate power to Ekiti State was a litigation against Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on the right of way along Igbara Odo and Ilara Mokin axis in Ondo State resulting to a stalemate in the upgrading of network facilities.
She added that BEDC Electricity Plc has approved over 100 projects in its bid to support and grow economic activities in Ekiti State.
“We are faced with the issues of vandalism of electricity installations and thieves tampering with network with poor payment culture by customers.
“Some customers still viewed power supply as social service. They see it as a national cake and power supply accessories are expensive and all the towns and villages can only be reached when they pay their bills. Payment remains the best catalyst that can help our company to do more”.
The BEDC Managing Director however urged Ekiti citizens to make themselves available during the enumeration exercise, scheduled to kick off in three weeks time, saying the exercise was key to the proposed distributions of meters to all households for accurate measurement and effective billing.
The BEDC boss also appealed to Ondo and Ekiti governments to intervene in the pending litigation serving as encumbrances to expansion in order to fast- track the process of network upgrade for increased power supply to Ekiti State.
“We are faced with the issues of vandalism of electricity installations and thieves tampering with network with poor payment culture by customers. She lamented.