Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC), on Wednesday, 4th of September, 2019, turned out another set of 60 Graduate Trainees and 74 Technician Trainees for its 2018/19 edition in its quest at improving service delivery to customers and bridge skills gap in the power sector, even as it announced take-off locations for the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme in Delta state.
The takeoff locations which will be handled by Inlaks Power Solution sequentially, based on location, street by street basis are; Government House and Cabinet area, Express, Anwai, SPC, Ezenei, SIO all around Asaba Township and Headbridge.
Managing Director/CEO, Mrs. Funke Osibodu who made these known at the 4th in the series of graduation for the trainees held at the Crescendo Conference Center, Asaba said BEDC believes that the recruitment of new and additional workforce and training of staff would help improve service delivery to customers and also build capacity in the power sector.
“Our yearly churn out of new employees under the Graduate Management Trainee and Technician Trainee schemes continue to grow as we lead in the drive to bridge the capacity and skills gap in the power sector.
Our goal is to attract and train 1,500 young and new employees with the aim of helping to improve the quality of service to customers and also help reduce youth unemployment in our society,” she stated.
Declaring that BEDC will leave no stone unturned in its desire to meet customer expectations, Mrs. Osibodu disclosed that between 2018 and now, BEDC has connected 112 communities without electricity supply in its coverage areas to the national grid out of which 55 of such connections were done in Delta state.
She solicited for the cooperation of customers in respect of the ongoing enumeration exercise which she said was a precondition for them to benefit from the MAP scheme, stressing that this would enable the company plan properly for network expansion, improve quality of power supply, adding that nearly 400,000 households have been enumerated.
In his welcome address, Chairman Board of Directors, Mr. Victor Osibodu said that the training schemes were conceived after the power sector privatization in 2013 to enable BEDC respond to immediate talent needs of the sector, disclosing that within four years of its existence over 600 persons have been recruited.
“BEDC aims to build a technically competent organization with the required technical and functional competency, As such the two training programmes are blended learning experiences designed to equip new staff with the skills set needed to deliver excellent services to customers,” the chairman stated.
Mr. Osibodu stated that with the GTP and TTP, BEDC had demonstrated zeal in ensuring qualitative training for new intakes comparable with any organization locally or internationally with a view to fulfilling federal government’s desire of ensuring adequate, reliable and sustainable electricity supply across the country.
Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof James Momoh in his goodwill message commended the management of BEDC for its timely compliance with NERC’s request for operational reports on safety, customer care, enumeration, and metering among others.
Prof Momoh advised the graduate trainees to support BEDC in its quest to ensure that electricity is supplied to Nigerians in a sustainable manner, adding that they should stick with the company which invested in the training opportunity they enjoyed.
He said that as a regulator, the next level for NERC was to facilitate the provision of premium and affordable power to Nigerians and also ensure their share ownership in the distribution companies.
Delta state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa who was represented by the Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Basil Ganagana said the state government will continue to partner with BEDC to improve power supply in the state,
saying that Delta took power sector seriously as it desires a steady and secured electricity supply as a precondition for economic development.
“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.”
Vice-Chancellor of Elizade University, Prof. Olukayode Amond explained that the curriculum developed for the training was the outcome-based learning approach which emphasized “what you can do with your hands, rather that the knowledge-based approach that is focused on what you know in your head.”