RESidents of Omozogie in Uteh Community, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State last week were connected to the national grid by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC) after years of no electricity supply. A substation was eventually inuagurated to link the community to the grid.
The inuaguration, which started with a town hall meeting organised by the community, had in attendance BEDC management team led by its Head, Community Relations Officer, Mrs Virginia Osineme, Business Manager of Ikpoba Hill, Mrs. Ekaete Ntukidem and her Business Head Distribution, Mamah an engineer, Odionwere electricity committee members and residents of Uteh Omozogie community.
The town hall meeting was meant to brief the residents on the need to see the substation as a collective responsibility, which should be protected against vandalism and other forms of energy theft.
Addressing the meeting, Mrs Osineme said: “The protection of the substation is everybody’s business. If there is no light, you know who to meet and talk to. If you see anybody in the substation that is not authorised by BEDC and the electricity committee, he or she is a vandal and should be apprehended.”
Osineme used the opportunity to educate the people of the community on basic safety tips and the need for proper earthing of their premises, the importance of engaging licensed electricians to wire their houses and the need to avoid substandard electrical accessories. She pleaded with the community leaders to work with BEDC to educate their children, youths and wives on the importance of electricity safety and help disseminate the safety tips.
Mrs Ntukidem commended the community for its patience throughout the process of connecting them to the national grid. According to her, meters have been properly installed and functional to provide the customers with fair and transparent billing. “Please, ensure no new wire is connected illegally to the network, we will know because of the check meter attached to the transformer, vend as at when due and don’t allow electricians to tamper with the transformer,” she said.
The General, Okae-Don, Uteh, Mr Iyoha Omozogie, lauded BEDC for keeping fate with the community saying “we thank the management and staff of BEDC for how they have been able to direct us in ensuring Omozogie community is connected to the national grid”.
We also thank the members of the community for their selfless donations and doggedness in ensuring the yearnings of the people become a reality. We now have light in Omozogie.” According to Iyoha, the community has also set up an electricity committee that will be working with BEDC in ensuring meters were not bypassed in order to mitigate energy losses, quick response to faults and protection of the newly installed substation.