A stakeholders meeting on Sapele power problem which held in Asaba, Delta State on the 30th of January, 2017, has agreed that Benin Electricity Distribution plc (BEDC) should workout modalities to improve power to Sapele residents. The decision which formed part of the resolution agreed upon after a three hours deliberation by all stakeholders at the Delta state House of Assembly complex in Asaba, that the Sapele people must pay part of their debts and current monthly charge in subsequent billing.
The meeting was chaired by the speaker, Delta State Assembly, Rt. Hon Monday- Igbuya, had in attendance the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Hon. Peter Onwusanya, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Joyce Overah, Commissioner for Energy, Barrister Newworld Safugha, Executive Director, Commercial, BEDC, Mr. Abu Ejoor, Chairman Sapele local government, Hon. Ejaife Odebala, BEDC’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Engr Ashok Acharya, and Chief State Head, Delta State, Mr. Ernest Edgar among others was called to proffer peaceful resolution to the problem before it snowballed into crisis.
In his address, Executive Director, Commercial, Mr. Abu Ejoor told Sapele residents that their demand for 18hours supply daily was not possible as “the power generated to the national grid is not sufficient to service everyone in the country at the moment.”
“The current 3000MW- 35000MW being generated in the country for which BEDC’s allocation is just 9 percent is not even enough to service a state talk less of 4 states under its control”.
He promised to restructure the network to accommodate the planned load shedding schedule which will improve their power supply to 8 hours daily.
Rev. Fr. Chris Ekabo representing a faction of the Sapele protesters had listed the people’s demands to include; No more estimated billings, provision of pre-paid meters, prompt response to fault and appointment of 2 locals to police infrastructure and liaise with BEDC, among others.
Chief State Head, Delta, Mr. Ernest Edgar said that only 35percent of the Sapele residents were paying customers, while the rest 65% owe BEDC huge amount of debt. He stressed that the debt was in excess of over N3 billion. He frowned upon the allegation that BEDC was making companies in Sapele pack out and declared that businesses were shutting down due to the current state of the economy.