Ikeja electric threatens mass disconnection over electricity debt
• Generation peaks at 3,850MW
As Nigeria’s power generation peaked at 3,850MW as at yesterday, Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), Nigeria’s largest power distribution company has unveiled plans to embark on mass disconnection of those who are yet to offset their electricity bills.
The company therefore, called on customers within its network to settle outstanding bills as it embarks on a network-wide exercise to disconnect delinquent customers who owe.
This is coming in the heels of an improved power supply in recent months, better service delivery and increased payment options across the network.
Speaking on the development, IE’s Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue, urged customers to take advantage of the various payment platforms available to settle their bills.
He said: “Ikeja Electric has invested in multiple robust platforms that will make bill settlement easier and more convenient. As we deploy more resources to improve the stability of power supply across our network, we will also appreciate a situation where customers promptly pay for energy they consume. It is this healthy partnership that guarantees sustenance and development in the power sector.”
According to him, Ikeja Electric provides of an array of payment alternatives for its customers including tokens; scratch card vouchers, which are sold by vendors and agents across its networks; Quickteller, which can be accessed on mobile devices and internet banking.
He listed other platforms include Pawakad, a mobile app payment system managed by strategically located agents; Baxibox, commonly known as ‘Baba-Ijebu’; Point-of-Sales terminals; WebPay and Interswitch among others.
Ofulue reminded customers of the Debt Discount Exercise, which provides discount options to enable customers pay off their outstanding bills and called on all interested customers to visit the company website; www.ikejaelectric.com or walk into any Undertaking Office for details on how to qualify for the discount.
He, however, cautioned against making payments to illegal and unauthorised agents who claim to be acting on behalf of Ikeja Electric, noting that many unsuspecting members of the public had been defrauded under this circumstances. According to him, all bonafide IE staff can be identified by their identity cards and customers should also ensure that they obtain receipts as proof of payment.
Meanwhile, the Acting Director- General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire has tasked owners of the successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to think outside the box and make long- term investments to improve their plants’ network and infrastructure despite the seeming unfavourable operating environment in the country.
He enjoined the investors to approach local and international funding sources to improve on their operations such that when the environment stabilizes, they would not be caught napping since their investment is in perpetuity.
The BPE Acting Director-General who gave the advice during the flag- off of the agency’s periodic post privatisation monitoring exercise at the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) in Ibadan on Wednesday, reminded Distribution Companies in the country that they won the bid of their respective companies based on the Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) they submitted.
According to him, they could only achieve that if they consciously expand and improve their network operation “because if the network is not improved and metering not aggressively pursued you cannot reduce technical and collection losses”.
Akpotaire noted the impressive investments and progress the IBEDC has made especially with the embedded generation project in collaboration with British America Tobacco (BAT), and admonished that “it is still not enough because any investment you make is in perpetuity. You need to find answers to the liquidity challenge’.
The BPE Acting Boss commended the company for its effort at upgrading facilities and urged the management to make conscious effort to meet, if not exceed the agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
He tasked them on the need to have a team of professional staff to drive the new technology they had deployed in information technology and other areas.