24 August 2015, Enugu – The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on Sunday in Enugu said it had earmarked the sum of N25 billion for investment in Geographic Information System (GIS) and enumeration of customers and assets in its license area-the South-east zone.
The sum would also cover transformers, construction of relief substations and network expansion. The company however attributed the present delay in the roll-out of its metering programme in the five states of the South-east zone to the high incidence of meter by-pass and tampering by consumers in the affected states.
The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Robertson Dickerman, told customers during a consultative meeting in Enugu as part of consultation for applying the tariff review that the new meters needed to be designed to check the incessant bye-pass and tampering.
Dickerman spoke as consumers of electricity in the zone expressed dissatisfaction with the services of the company in estimated bills, absence of meters, delay in repairing faulty transformers, prolonged power outages and fixed charges and called on the company to improve their services before considering tariff review.
The consultative meeting, he said, had taken the company to all the states of the South-east, adding that it was also a requirement from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
He disclosed that EEDC had commenced procurement and installation of meters for its maximum-demand customers, adding however that procurement and installation of pre-paid meters for its single-phase and three-phase customers had advanced.
Dickerman said EEDC was poised to continue to provide effective services to all electricity consumers in the zone, adding that it had made huge investments to reduce aggregate technical, commercial and collective losses as well as address customers’ complaints.
On the issue of fixed charge, the company explained that it was necessary component of electricity tariffs, adding that it would support capacity charges for the generation companies as well as capital, maintenance and fixed costs of other electricity market participants.
Dickerman told the electricity consumers that the consultative meeting was borne out of the need to get their input in the proposed tariff review, stressing that the review was crucial to the sustainability of the entire electricity business chain.
“Since electricity generation companies and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) do not charge customers directly for their services, the tariffs charged by every distribution company must support the effective operations of the distribution company, transmission company and generation company,” he said.
He said on the average, 60 percent of the amount billed to each customers was for generation companies and 15 percent for the transmission and other service providers, while 25 percent is for the operation of the distribution company.
“We think that the best thing you can do to support the increases to electricity generation and transmission capacity in Nigeria is to allow appropriate tariffs and to pay the bills in full. This will enable the EEDC to pay the generation and transmission companies so as to enable them make required investments or raise the capital needed to do so. The absence of cost-reflective tariffs and non-payment of bills by some customers is preventing Nigeria from receiving the additional generation and transmission capacity that we all need,” he disclosed.
Dickerman added that part of the ongoing tariffs review exercise was to disaggregate some tariffs classes so that some customers may receive tariffs that better suits their needs and create an opportunity to reduce fixed charges for some customers’ classes.
He explained that the EEDC proposed tariff review would be for a period of 10 years from 2015 to 2025, adding that the company would also avoid tariff shock by deferring some of its allowable revenue in the early years to later years.
– This Day