The end of estimated billing system in Lagos is very near as both the Eko Electricity Distribution Company and the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company have initiated plans to supply electricity meters to customers soon
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jun. 2, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
THE Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, is taking steps to end estimated bills to customers soon. Accordingly, it has announced plans to roll out 360,000 electricity meters to customers who are presently being billed without meters through estimation. The distribution company said the project would cost N1.3 billion. Oladele Amoda, chief executive officer, EKEDC, told journalists in Lagos on Monday, May 19, after an oversight visit of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation to the company.
The first phase of the project, according to him, will start with about 5,000 meters for all high voltage or maximum demand customers who, he said, were responsible for about 70 percent of the company’s revenue profile. Amoda stated that from those who did not have meters, all customers with obsolete and malfunctioning meters would also have them replaced.
Earlier in his post-privatisation update report presented to the committee, the EKEDC boss said the company had embarked on a number of measures to ensure a total turnaround in the company’s services to its customers. These, he said, included the embedded generation project, evolvement of a new human resource policy with emphasis on workers’ safety, training and improvement of the general working condition in the company.
Amoda added that another N2.3 billion would be spent on network rehabilitation, system upgrade and reinforcement with a view to drastically reducing equipment downtime and enhancing customer’s satisfaction and service delivery.
Gbenga Obadara, chairman of the committee, said the Senate would always be ready to work with the newly-privatised electricity distribution companies and other stakeholders in the electricity sector for the purpose of jointly finding a lasting solution to the problems militating against regular power supply in the country. According to him, the Senate is aware of both the expectations of Nigerians from the newly privatised electricity companies as well as the constraints still bedevilling the sector.
He said energy theft and vandalism still constituted one of the major challenges facing the companies. Obadara said while the Senate would always want to protect the interest of Nigerians to ensure that they were not exploited by the new companies, it would also facilitate the existence of a conducive atmosphere for the firms to operate without any hindrance.
He gave an assurance that the companies would not be left alone to tackle the problems they were facing considering the pervasive influence of electricity in the socio-economic life of the nation. “We will always be in constant touch with all stakeholders like the NERC, BPE and others so that we can sit down together and look at the problems for us to be able to find a lasting solution to the power problem in the country,” he said.
Similarly, the management of the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, IKEDC, has said it is working in conjunction with its technical partners, Korea Electric Power Company, KEPCO, to ensure meter accuracy and loss reduction within the network. Speaking during the Obadara-led committee’s oversight visit to the firm on Monday, May 19, Abiodun Ajifowobaje, chief executive officer, IKEDC, said the company had made significant progress in its quest to ensure a robust metering system that would enhance accuracy in billing.
Ajifowobaje said KEPCO was spearheading an exhaustive review of IKEDC’s network to achieve the introduction of effective meters as well as promote reduction of energy losses through continuing upgrade and optimisation of the company’s installations and facilities. “IKEDC is working with KEPCO to provide a strategic solution to metering that takes cognizance of the needs of all customers within the network. I am happy to report that with the adoption of new technology, we have made substantial progress in this regard and remain committed to ensuring that all our customers are adequately metered,” he said.
Listing inadequate power supply as one of the company’s greatest challenges, Ajifowobaje said instead of receiving daily supply of 1,351 megawatts, the company was receiving an average of 345MW, representing a shortage of 700MW, which placed a huge strain on daily distribution.