The interim board of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc has increased salaries of its staff, while pledging better electricity distribution and to fight corrupt practices that bedevil the system.
The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Henry Ajagbawa, who stated this on Tuesday at a press parley in Benin City, Edo State capital, noted that operational policies have been put in place to guide against the company revolving around an individual.
The former MD of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company also said the BEDC Plc was targeting at least N8 billion monthly to enable it to pay the over N9 billion to buy energy from electricity generation companies monthly.
He said, “We are to run the BEDC based on approved policies by the board. Our focus is to improve service in our franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti. We know the level of service has much to be desired and there is much to be done.
“To make things work, the board approved a salary increase for staff between five to 70 per cent graduating at various level of staff. The salary increase will become operational by end of September and it must be paid on the last working day of the month as against what was obtainable under the former management.
“One of our pillar is creating the environment for our staff to thrive and it is necessary to provide an enabling environment for them to excel. The workers’ ability to work were limited due to lack of means of transportation as over 50 vehicle have been grounded. We are going to repair them so that the workers can transport themselves and equipment to repair faulty equipment.
“Corruption thrives because staff and customers connive. The customers should pay their bills as and when due instead of bribing officials to overlook them. Leadership is the basis of every organisation. This new management has zero tolerance for corruption. We are here to lead by example.”
Ajagbawa assured that available meters locked up by the former management would be distributed to customers, while more would be sourced from opportunities by the Federal Government.
He said, “(The) BEDC will carry out metering of customers, Federal Government has kickstarted metering but we have other windows where customers can come and buy meter and the BEDC would refund them through credits every month. We will also provide meters through the Federal Government and other windows. We are in a hurry to meter our customers.
“(The) BEDC has no power to increase tariffs but to provide excellence service. We will conduct forensic audit. There is going to be openness in the running of our operation and we are going to deliver excellent services.
“We are going to put our vehicle on the road and give out our anti-corruption lines so that people can report issue of corruption to the management,” he added.