POWER GENERATION, DISTRIBUTION AND MAINTENANCE
BUC, the Power Distribution Company for the Bonny Kingdom, has provided Bonny communuities about 95% uninterrupted power supply since its inception.
The BUC started as an initiative by the Joint Industry Companies (JIC), representatives of the Bonny Kingdom Development Committee (BKDC) and the Local Government under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the JIC and the Bonny Kingdom.
Under the MOU the JIC agreed, amongst other things, to upgrade the existing electricity supply system in Bonny Town and to establish a utility board.
This idea eventually evolved into the establishment of a full Utility Company - the Bonny Utility Company.
• The Local Government provided BUC with tax exemptions, donated land and provides various other services.
• The Rivers State Government, through the Ministry of Power, provides BUC with the licence to operate and seconded a number of staff to Bonny to assist BUC in the operation of the distribution grid.
• The Bonny Kingdom Development Committee, who are the representatives of the community, interfaces between BUC and the community and helps BUC with issues such as employment, right of way, etc.
• The JIC are funding the BUC and provide the technical and managerial expertise.
All stakeholders were actively involved in the setting up of the company and continue to be actively involved in the running of the company through their representation in the BUC Board of Directors.
PROVIDING HIGH QUALITY CONSTANT POWER
BUC offers high quality affordable power supply services to residential and commercial power consumers within the established contour of supply in the Bonny Kingdom.
Electricity is supplied for free up to an agreed limit. Above the limit every customer can obtain additional services at a subsidised rate via a pre-payment model. Currently about 20% of the customers sail through the month using just this free issue without buying additional electricity credits.
All BUC services are subsidised by the JIC. Subsidised rates vary from high subsidies for small residential users up to no subsidy for high capacity commercial users. There is an intention as the community economy develops, to move to a self-sustaining funding regime.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT BUC
• It is a non-profit organisation
• It provides free Electricity to a certain limit, so everyone can enjoy the service.
• It adheres to global utility standards such as the IEEE and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards
• It only utilises High Quality Equipment
• It offers a 24/7 emergency response team
• It guarantees Power Availability of 95% or better
• Easily accesible front office for enquiries and complaints
• It strives for 100% customer satisfaction
• Services are paid-for directly into designated bank accounts
• At least 75% of employees are Bonny Indigenes
• All third party contracts are competitively tendered
• Preference is given to local suppliers over national and foreign suppliers, thereby empowering the Bonny People through employment and local contract opportunities.
In 2006 BUC obtained a second Power Supplier, which enabled it to increase its guaranteed availability to more than 95% in 2007 and 2008. The contour of supply is being extended and the density of substations will increase to supply power to more customers at higher quality. Finally, BUC has recently added water production/treatment and distribution services to its service portfolio becoming a multi utility company.
The payment for electricity was initially very controversial. Yet once people began seeing the results the scepticism has quickly changed to enthusiasm and an eagerness to get connected. Now people understand the need to attach value to power services, and understand the need for fee-paying as the only sustainable mechanism that guarantees the future of the services and curbs the waste that results from "free" arrangements.
Today, businesses are flourishing because machines and computers can be utilised all day long and Public services are maximised. A good example is the Bonny General Hospital which has been able to double the number of operations it provides because it enjoys uninterrupted power.