Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs Funke Osibodu, yesterday, allayed fears of customers in the franchise states over the new Service-Based Tariff, (SBT), saying that they will now pay appropriate rates for services rendered based on its availability.
Osibodu, represented by the Executive Director, Commercial, Mr. Abu Ejoor, stated this while briefing journalists on the new Service-Based Tariff (SBT) for Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, (NESI) in Benin.
“Therefore, the Service-Based Tariff (SBT) is a leap into a regime where customers of BEDC across the franchise states of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo will be migrated to a threshold where there will be continuous improvement in the quality of service delivery that the company offers.
“The new SBT will allow BEDC customers to enjoy certainty in a minimum of hours of power availability and pay appropriate rates for services rendered based on this availability.
“At takeoff from 1st of September 2020, the new SBT essentially affects customers that enjoy electricity for at least average of 12 hours per day. For those enjoying less than 12 hours of power supply, they will continue to pay at old rates until end of the year”, she explained.
The BEDC boss added that the new Service-Based Tariff was approved for all the Distribution Companies (Discos) including BEDC in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry, (NESI) and that it took effect from September 1, 2020.
Osibodu said it is in line with the outcome of customers feedback from the tariff review consultations held by NERC and DisCos at the various locations across the country in February and March, 2020.
The BEDC MD/CEO said the feedback of the consultation showed that customers were willing to pay appropriate rates if there was improved quality of service delivered, as some of them whose current service level deemed low had difficulty rationalizing a tariff increase.
The BEDC boss added that under the new service dispensation, customers have been disaggregated into various clusters/bands based on hours of supply and using number of hours of daily availability as a measure to determine the tariff rates with those with more power paying more than those with less power.
Speaking further, the BEDC boss said the new tariff regime also provides that customers can move to upper bands of more power availability as their quality of service improves and accordingly pay the appropriate tariff.
The MD of the distribution company further said to address the supply shortfall from the grid, BEDC within the last three years, signed two MoU’s with two generation companies to generate for it 100MW and 30MW respectively but due to the current tariff rate, they could not start the construction.
She said in order to augment and make customers in its franchise states enjoy improved power supply, BEDC has advertised on embedded power generation in which over 30 generating firms have expressed interest and to deliver up to 800MW.
Osibodu said the 800MW would materialize faster especially with their (BEDC) proposed Performance Improvement Plan which would allow for increased Capital Expenditure, (CAPEX) spent on network infrastructure, automation and ICT backbone to ensure system and network reliability.