IBEDC opposes removal of fixed electricity charges

Ibadan23 August 2014, Ibadan –  Should the federal government, through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), go ahead with its plan to stop monthly fixed charges on electricity in the country, it would have a great impact on the revenue of new owners of power distributors in Nigeria.

The Managing Director of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Fortunato Leynes, disclosed this yesterday while unveiling the six-man technical team of the company expected to work with the research fellows in the University of Ibadan (UI) to achieve the company’s uninterrupted 24-hour power supply to consumers.

According to Leynes, the plan by the BPE to remove fixed charges from customers’ tariff would have a huge impact on its revenue, hence the need for caution by the government.

Leynes said: “We have sent our position to the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on the plan to remove fix charges on the bill of customers that are not getting electricity for up to 360 hours in a month. Unfortunately we are at the tail end of the distribution chain. The fix charge is included in tariff determination. Just removing it without proper review of the tariff structure will leave a great impact on our revenue. We do not totally agree with the concept of fix charges removal.”

On the partnership between his company and UI which was conceptualised to source for talents and human capital development, the MD said it would provide an avenue for his company to test-drive its commitment to provide 24-hour electricity to customers.

“We want to establish partnership with the UI on human capital development and talent sourcing and development. We are looking up to it for some of our recruitment. The partnership will also represent a pilot project in providing 24-hour electricity power. This will be developed by the technical team we have chosen to work on this area. The result of this partnership will be determined by the complexity of the situation and assessment of the technical team from both parties. The institution is upgrading its electrical network which is a bit complicated,” Leynes said.

Contributing, the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the partnership initiative between IBEDC and UI centred on how to improve on service delivery, training of human resources and accommodation of students of the institution by the company for industrial training.

Adewole said it was the first time the school had partnered a major player in the nation’s economy, stressing the gains of the union.

He added: “We are looking forward to 24-hour electricity supply. We want to showcase this to other sector and show them that it can work. We are going to be testing the integrity of our network and assist IBEDC in training of its human resources. We will also send our students to the company for industrial training. We will assist the company on quality assurance and quality delivery. So we are looking at a comprehensive model for public/private partnership. The cost of implementation will be determined by the technical committee which members from the two parties.”
*Ademola Babalola – Thisday

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