10 September 2015, Lagos – Seventh months after the take-off of the transitional electricity companies in the country, the management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has said the company required about N10billion to purchase pre-paid meters, concrete electric poles and other equipment needed to provide steady electricity supply for its teeming customers in its areas of coverage.
The IBEDC covers Kwara, Oyo, Osun, Ogun state and parts of Niger, Kogi and Ekiti states.
The company said that in order to achieve this target, there would be upward review of the tariff currently being paid by customers across its operating states.
Regional Commercial Manager (Kwara region) at the IBEDC, Mr. Peter Oni, disclosed this during a public consultation public forum on tariff review, with managers of business organisations and residential customers in Ilorin, the state capital on Tuesday.
According to him, “IBEDC’s huge investment was required to bring about improvement in the power system particularly with the level of over 50 years decay in the industry”.
Oni who sought understanding of customers on need for review of tariff, said factors influencing tariff include cost of maintenance including vandalism cost, changes/increase in cost of gas, technical losses and energy theft, payment/non-payment by customers, changes in bank interests and foreign exchange rate, and investment for network, among others.
He said that the review would prevent collapse of the power sector, ensure increase in power supply to customers as well as ensure that the entire power sector value chain generation, transmission and distribution) is funded through appropriate tariff structure.
“The low level of payment for electricity has a major impact on the cash flow in the entire value chain and this must be addressed to guarantee required investments in the industry. Current tariff does not guarantee recovery of total cost of operations. Thus, this review will assist us to quickly address problem of estimated billing (through metering) which today represents over 70 per cent customers’ complaints and has been one of the reasons for various protests experienced since we took over”, he said.
Reacting to the planned tariff increase, customers of the IBEDC said that provision of pre-paid electricity meters for both companies and residential houses in the area would eliminate estimated billing and other associated problems among its customers.
They noted that the pre-paid meter would also eliminate power wastage, indiscipline in use of power and corruption among staff of the company.
The forum, which had in attendance traditional rulers, community leaders, owners and managers of businesses, also deliberated on irregular power supply in their areas, as consumers complained they had been paying for energy they did not consumed.
They therefore urged the power company not to increase tariff yet until problems of crazy billing, irregular power supply, insufficient transformers and other associated problems were addressed.
Pointing out that Kwara state economy is being sustained by business owners and companies, they noted added that estimated billing could kill business in the state.
- This Day