Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, on Wednesday said the state government will continue to partner with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to improve power supply in the state.
The governor, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Energy, Mr Basil Ganagana, gave the assurance in Asaba at the 2018/2019 graduation ceremony of the graduate trainees and technicians’ training programme of BEDC.
“As a state, we have taken the power sector very seriously within the limit of extra pledges.
“One of the key economic objectives of our administration is to have a state with a secured energy supply, sufficient to meet our projected economic needs and aspirations.
“One of the ways to achieve this is to liaise with other states within BEDC catchment areas on joint action on how to serve our states better,’’ the governor said.
While commending BEDC for sustaining the training programme, Okowa noted that: “The world is already growing technologically at a jet speed and it is, therefore, our desire to key into it in order to improve our economy.
“This can only be achieved by training and retraining of our engineers and technicians.’’
The governor said that the training would go a long way in helping to develop the youth.
Okowa, while congratulating the graduands for the completion of the training programme, noted that their training was hinged on the important role engineering plays in the development of the power sector.
According to him, it is an opportunity for you to be more efficient and skilful in the field of engineering.
“I urge you to be more committed and determined to use your brain to improve yourselves for better service delivery,’’ he said.
On her part, the Managing Director of BEDC, Mrs Funke Osibodu, said that from 2018 till date, the company had connected 112 communities without power supply to the National Grid in Delta.
Osibodu also said that electricity accidents had been reduced in the last five years, saying that the company had commenced sensitisation programmes on wrong use of electricity equipment among school children.
“As part of the safety sensitisation campaigns in primary and secondary schools, we have already distributed more than 20,000 exercise books with safety tips advice.
“The sensitisation campaign continues to see our staff educating students and the public on the dangers resulting from unsafe acts, such as tampering with electrical installations, living and trading under high tension, overhead lines, among others,’’ she said.
Osibodu, however, noted that vandalism of electricity equipment was still on the increase, identifying Delta and Edo with the highest numbers.
She appealed to BEDC customers and communities to continue to watch over electricity equipment in their domain in order to reduce vandalism in the areas.