20 May 2014, Lagos – The Eko Electricity Distribution Company has announced plans to roll out 360,000 electricity meters to customers who are presently being billed without meters through estimation. The project will cost N1.3bn.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, EKEDC, Mr. Oladele Amoda, told journalists in Lagos on Monday shortly after the 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 per cent of the company’s revenue profile.
Amoda stated that under the scheme, apart 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.
Amoda added that another N2.3bn would be spent on network rehabilitation, system upgrade and reinforcement with a view to drastically reducing equipment downtime and enhancing customer satisfaction and service delivery.
Responding, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Gbenga Obadara, 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.
Speaking further, 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 added that the companies could 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 has said it is working in conjunction with its technical partners, Korea Electric Power Company, to ensure meter accuracy and loss reduction within the network.
Speaking during the oversight visit of the Obadara-led committee to the firm on Monday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, IKEDC, Mr. Abiodun Ajifowobaje, said the company had made significant progress in its quest to ensure a robust metering system that would enhance accuracy in billing.
Ajifowobaje, according to a statement made available on Monday, 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 the company, instead of receiving daily supply of 1,351 megawatts, was receiving an average of 345MW, representing a shortage of 700MW, which placed a huge strain on daily distribution.
– The Punch