24 April 2014, Abuja – Electricity distribution companies have called on the Federal Government to tackle the menace of vandalism of critical infrastructure and shortage of gas supply in order to rekindle the hope of improved power supply.
The Discos made the call when the House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation visited the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by Head of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe.
At Port Harcourt, the Managing Director, 4Power Consortium Limited, the core investor in the PHEDC, Mr. Matthew Edevbie, appealed to the National Assembly to enact a strong anti-theft law to empower the power firms to prosecute vandals of electricity installations and customers who were fond of attacking utility personnel in the cause of their duties.
Edevbie said the company had undertaken the construction of new 33KV lines at Trans Amadi Industrial Area, re-construction of Okrika 11KV feeder for the Jokrama communities in Ahaoda, and inaugurated the NIPP 1 x 15MVA 33/11KV injection substation at Ikot Abasi.
He, however, lamented that the condition of the network his company inherited was worse than envisaged, and listed higher average technical, commercial and collection loss than the Multi Year Tariff Order’s assumption and vandalism, among others, as the challenges being experienced by the PHEDC.
In Enugu, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, EEDC, Mr. Robert Dickerman, called on the Federal Government to address the problems of inadequate gas supply to the generation companies as well as pipeline vandalism.
Dickerman said Nigerian engineers and accountants were currently being interviewed for employment by the company.
In her remarks, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Ms. Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, stated that the purpose of the oversight tour was to assess the performance of the companies since the acquisition of the 60 per cent Federal Government’s equity in the enterprises.
The tour also allowed members of the committee to review the development and investment plans for improving, maintaining and stabilising power distribution in the country, she said.
“We will like to have honest interactive discussions on the challenges with a view to intervening for the benefit of the investors and the Nigerian people,” Abba-Ibrahim said.
She added that her committee was using the visit to ascertain the level of compliance with the post acquisition development plans submitted to the BPE by the core investors.
– The Punch