By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has restored night life to Oke–Irhue Community in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State.
Oke–Irhue had experienced power outage for 15 years before BEDC connected the community to national grid last Sunday, amidst fanfare by her inhabitants.
Spokesman for BEDC, Mr Adekunle Tayo in a Press statement on Tuesday, said the move was aimed at ensuring power availability across its franchise States – Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti which were without power supply for a long time.
He revealed that the connection of Oke-Irhue to the national grid was to demonstrate BEDC’s resolve to partner with
Communities without electricity supply who have fulfilled all necessary preconditions for energisation.
In a remark, Mr Douglas Agbonleni (rtd) who spoke in behalf of Oke–Irhue Community, recalled the harrowing experience inhabitants of the Community has been through before BEDC intervention.
“We the entire people of Oke-irhue are happy in that 15 months after the community’s General Assembly worldwide took up the challenge and struggle to light up our community, God has finally answered our prayers during this special season of Christmas by granting our village the opportunity to be linked with the national electricity grid today 29-12-2019, a project which has been ongoing since 2002”.
He assured that the development will ease them the burden of out of pocket expenses and reduce harmful emission from the environment occasioned by noise and air pollution.
According to him, the absence of electricity in the past, slowed down the pace of development in the area despite its abundant resources.
Agbonleni commended members of the Community, the electricity Committee for their patience, commitment and cooperation in ensuring that the energisation project became a reality and urged them to guide “this noble project jealously against the activities of vandals” since the plan begun in 2002.
He also assured that the Community will keep its own side of the bargain “by ensuring the safety of the equipment and meeting our ‘financial obligations”.
Our Correspondent reports that the federal government through the Rural Electrification Agency embarked on the electrification of the community long before the privatization of the power sector with the provision of two 300KVA distribution transformers.
Meanwhile, Oke – Irhue has several customers who were only connected to two 300KVA transformers with about 100 of the customers are currently connected in the first phase of the Meter Access Providers (MAP) scheme which began few months ago.
Others are to be connected in the next phase of energisation after they must have met wiring standards to ensure safety of customers.