By Emmanuel Mogbede
Abuja – The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), has appealed to the Federal Government to support programmes that will ensure that every electricity consumer got a meter.
Mr Ernest Mupwaya, Managing-Director of the company, made the appeal on Wednesday in Abuja, when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, paid an oversight visit to the company.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the committee members were led by the Chairman, Rep. Timilehin Adelegbe, on the visit.
“In terms of transforming businesses, for me, metering is number one, before you transform anything, and if there is anything to achieve, it is for the government to support an accelerated programme to get every consumer a meter.
“Once we achieve that, we move the discussion around distribution,’’ Mupwaya said.
According to him, out of the three components of electricity which include generation, transmission and distribution,the last phase is the most complex.
He explained that while in generation and transmission, you only needed the technology and money, distribution, however, could be impacted by political decisions, economy, affordability and technology.
Mupwaya said though there were many variables in the distribution chain, the first one, in terms of transforming businesses, was metering; and once that had been addressed, consumers would have more value for services.
This he added, would lead to economic transformation and increased downstream activities.
He said the company was integrating a model power supply in Wuse Market, Abuja, by putting in place a smart metering system to provide round the clock electricity supply for more than 2,000 shops.
Mupwaya said if the model, the first in the country, was fully implemented, it would reduce noise emission in the market, create jobs and wealth as business hours would be increased.
He added that the AEDC also planned to integrate electricity supply in Idu Industrial Area to give round the clock electricity supply to industries.
“It is a huge project estimated at 50,000 MW, once we get this and stabilise, the next level will be to move to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for 24/7 electricity,’’ he said.
He, however, said the company was going through challenges such as marketing issues, non payments of electricity bills by some government offices, court orders on tariff reversal, lack of financing and low customer meter roll-out.
In his response, Adelegbe said while the committee appreciated what the AEDC was doing, there was need to do more, stressing that all Nigerians needed was electricity.
He said the committee was in AEDC as part of its oversight function; and to discuss how to add value to its operations, which it would be straight forward about.
Members of the committee, who also spoke at the meeting, raised concerns on metering and estimated billings, saying they should be addressed in the interest of electricity consumers.