THE Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has implored electricity consumers in the country to always pay their bills promptly to enable the new power companies remain afloat in order to provide efficient and constant power supply. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, director general, BPE, made the plea in Enugu, when a team from the Bureau visited the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, in continuation of its post-privatization monitoring activities of the power successor companies.
The DG who was represented by Vincent Akpotaire, acting director, National Facilities and Agricultural Resources, noted that non-payment of electricity bills, harassment of personnel of the power companies and vandalisation of power assets posed serious threats to the power sector reform.
While commending the management of EEDC for the aggressive steps so far taken to improve power supply to its consumers through upgrading of power infrastructures, the DG reiterated his call on power companies in the country to liaise with security agents to set up a task force to check vandalism, non-payment of bills and power theft/illegal connections.
Earlier, Robert Dickerman, chief executive officer, EEDC, had pledged the commitment of the company to steady power supply to its customers at affordable and equitable price. Dickerman said the management of EEDC was carrying out a holistic transformation of the company including; improvement of power supply from six hours to 16 hours daily, acquisition of new transformers, replacement of moribund and vandalized transformers and cables, and acquisition of new utility vehicles.
On the challenges facing the company, he informed the BPE team that EEDC could not meet its installed capacity due to inadequate supply from the National Grid, power theft (illegal connections), vandalism of power installations and non-payment of bills by some customers.
Automated Payment System for Power Sector
AN automated Power Collect Command Centre meant to ensure transparent revenue collection and payment in the electricity value chain has been inaugurated. Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, who inaugurated the centre on Tuesday, July 8, said it was developed by the Market Operator in conjunction with the CBN Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, NIBSS. He said the centre would ensure equitable revenue collection and payment in line with international best practice.
The measure, which is code-named ‘NIBSS/Power Collect’, is aimed at reducing human interaction and its attendant bias in the payment processes in the Nigerian electricity supply industry. “We Congratulate the Operators of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry for a job well done. You have done a great job in taking the sector to a new level by the development and deployment of the NIBSS-Power Collect system,” he said.
Nebo urged stakeholders in the power supply chain to key into the system to ensure adequate data capture and transparency in the payment system. He said such stakeholders include the generating companies, the transmission company and the distribution companies.
“We welcome this fresh initiative and we are fully backing the Market Operator, MO, to make a success. We would like to seek the indulgence of all market participants to cooperate with the MO and comply with all the rules and requirements necessary for the success of this project.”
Earlier, Ngozi Osuhor, executive director, Market Operator, said “the platform is a globally accepted solution tailored for the Nigerian market with its specific peculiarities and challenges.” She described the solution as automated revenue lifecycle management system that would enable the market operator and all the players in the electricity value chain ensure equitable revenue collection and splitting.
She explained that it would also give the market operators the tools it required for market price stability. Osuhor said that it would also help the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, with the tools it requires for effective regulation of the sector. “The NIBSS-Power Collect has three major components-the data capture and reconciliation system, the e-invoicing and billing system, and payment settlement system which leverages on the NIBSS Direct Debit Workflow,” she said.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Jul. 21, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT