Governor Samuel Ortom has charged the management of Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDCO), to upgrade the level of power supply in Benue State.
The Governor gave the charge on Thursday when the new Managing Director of JEDCO, Engr Abdu Bello Mohammed led some management staff of the company to pay him a courtesy visit at Benue State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja.
Governor Ortom noted that one of the cardinal policies of his administration which was to industrialize the state suffered some setbacks due to lack of adequate power supply.
He pointed out that some existing companies at the Industrial Layout folded up because they could not afford the rising cost of operating their plants using diesel.
He further emphasised that Benue is an agrarian state with the capacity to turn primary products into finished goods, noting that “ensuring adequate power supply to residences and commercial areas would enhance the economic development.”
The Governor expressed his readiness to support JEDCO and directed the Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), to unseal all premises of the electricity company to allow room for more negotiations over the company’s unpaid taxes to the State Government.
According to the Governor, the decision was to enable the Government to begin a mutual relationship with the new management of the company, stating that the Government would also make concerted efforts to clear outstanding bills owed the company.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Nathaniel Ikyur quotes the governor as directing the BIRS Chairman, Mrs Mimi Adzape-Orubibi and the State Accountant General, Mr Agwaza Iorkpiligh, to liaise with the new management of JEDCO with the aim of sorting out both the taxes owed by the company and outstanding electricity bills owed by the State Government.
Earlier, the new Managing Director of JEDCO, Engr Mohammed told the Governor that the company has already paid part of its owed taxes and appealed for the intervention of the Governor for its offices to be unsealed.
He explained that as part of their mandate to boost power supply in the state, the company has awarded a contract for the construction of 330KVA line across the Benue bridge as well as included construction of more substations in their 2023 budget.
Engr Mohammed assured Governor Ortom that the company is working on boosting power supply at the Makurdi Industrial Layout to boost socio-economic activities in and around the area.
The Managing Director who was accompanied by the Regional Manager of the Company in Makurdi, Mr. Joseph Kwaghgba and other management staff, expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom for the support he has given the company over the years, particularly the donation of land and provision of electricity transformers among other interventions.