Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II, has challenged electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria to strengthen their Research and Development (R&D) capacity in order to arrive at a solution to the various problems associated with the power sector value chain.
He gave the charge while playing host to the new management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) in Benin City.
The traditional ruler said the country’s electricity problem can be ameliorate if players in the industry are solution-driven.
The first class traditional ruler explained that the economic uncertainty caused by the free fall of the country’s currency (naira) to the dollar, as well as the high cost of diesel is taking a toll on businesses and manufacturing sector in Nigeria, thereby pushing citizens, especially the downtrodden to the extreme.
He said: “You have association of DISCOs in Nigeria, get them together and have conferences, retreats and find out what to do to improve the power Distribution problems because it is enormous.
“We appeal to you to do your homework. If you have research and development department, engage them to do more research so as to find out what the problem is.
“People cannot continue to cope with the pressure of power supply in the country. They cannot even set up businesses or industries that rely on diesel which is expensive and sometimes, you may not get.
“It is the same story over and over again. It seems not to be going away. Please do your best. If you identify anything that we can do, please, do not hesitate to let us know.”
Earlier, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of BEDC, Dr. Henry Ajagbawa, explained that they were at the palace to pay respect to the monarch and solicit prayers towards enhancing electricity distribution to the people.
Ajagbawa admitted that due to enormous challenges facing the power sector, the Federal Government took steps to reposition some distribution companies, including BEDC through robust engagement with governments at all levels and other stakeholders in the gamut of electricity for improved performance.
“Suffice to say that it is not news that we have electricity challenge in Nigeria. We believe that in collaboration with governments and our communities, we should be able to go further. It is a huge challenge ahead,” the monarch said.