LAGOS – The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) on Friday said over N2 billion had been invested to evacuate power from the national grid to boost its network distribution for effective supply to the consumers.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Oladele Amoda, disclosed this at an interactive session with the media in Lagos to mark the company’s one year of post privatisation exercise.
NAN reports that 11 distribution companies and five generating companies were privatised and handed over to new owners on Nov. 1, 2013.
Amoda said that the company had recorded tremendous improvement on effective customer’s service delivery in its one year of operations under the new investor.
He said that EKEDC had delivered more reliable electricity supply to both the industrial and residential customers within its network, adding that over 45 million dollars had been committed by the new board for network expansion.
According to him, customers service care centers have been upgraded with the provision of modern facilities to customers.
“The Disco will continue to avail its esteem customers with positive dividends of privatisation, while cost reflective tariff will enable accelerated improvement in network, enable quick metering of all customers.
Amoda said that it would invest N42 billion in five years to reinforce the operation of the company, adding that it had secured 150 million dollars for network expansion and improvement.
He said that the company also planned a N6.79 billion investment in pre-paid metering.
“The new investors in the company have secured about N25billion ($150million) loan from a bank to be invested in network expansion, metering of power consumers, developmental projects and reinforcement of the network.
“In the short run, we are investing about N1.3billion on metering, while a total of N6.79billion will be invested within the next five years to promote effective billing and adequate metering.
“Our greatest challenges after the take-over include severe capacity limitations in most of the transmission stations to facilitate delivery of improved power supply to power consumers,” he said.
He, however, urged the government to enact legislation that would prevent vandalism, energy and cable theft.
Amoda said that the company had been holding talks with some firms to generate 400MW for the customers of the company, but with special consideration for the industrial customers that need uninterrupted power supply who were also prepared to pay more.
“Over 360,000 pre-paid electricity meters had been rolled out to various customers under the distribution network, with about 240,000 customers is planned to be added within the next three years,’’ he said.
Amoda said that the company was planning to meter all its customers within the next five years, adding that issues of estimated billing would soon be a thing of the past.
He said that full implementation of industrial, commercial and high-end residential customers would be completed by the end of first quarter in 2015.
The EKEDC boss said that several power and distribution transformers had already been deployed, while smart meters would mostly be deployed to prevent tempering, securing revenue and improve customer services.
Amoda said that in spite all the efforts to ensure effective customers’ satisfaction, the company still faced low energy supply to meet its customers’ demand due to incessant gas pipeline vandalism.
He said that energy theft through meter by-passing also remained a big challenge to the company, adding that customers should also support the disco to curb equipment vandalisation.
Amoda said that EKEDC had started implementing its investment plan on rehabilitation of the company’s equipment. (NAN)