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Senate committee expresses concern over N70b owed IKEDC

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Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation has expressed concern over the outstanding N70.96b debt owed Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) by its customers and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The Committee’s Chairman, Senator Theodore Orji, who stated this, yesterday, during their oversight visit to the company, also commended IKEDC on improved service delivery and innovative ideas in the power sector. He noted that as a business venture, such indebtedness was an impediment to its vision of providing quality supply of electricity to its customers.

Orji assured the company’s management that the legislative arm of government would look into the issue, since majority of the debt was owed by MDAs. 

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The Chief Executive Officer, Ikeja Electric, Mrs. Folake Soetan, expressed appreciation to the lawmakers for the visit, explaining that the company’s achievements so far was as a result of collaboration with Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and other stakeholders.

She said the company would continue to invest in modern technology and equipment to ensure quality power supply to its customers.

In his presentation, the Chief Marketing Officer, Ikeja Electric, Ugochukwu Obi-Chukwu, said about 400,000 out of 1.1 million customers of the electricity Distribution Company have been installed with prepaid metres. He noted that the number of metred customers in Ikeja Electric was the highest among all the 11 DisCos, stressing that the company was intensifying efforts at further bridging the metering gap.

He said the DisCo had been making investments to upgrade its network, to guarantee reliable and stable power supply to its customers.
Obi-Chukwu said Ikeja Electric had in the past few years came up with innovative ideas that would ensure customer satisfaction for its commercial and residential customers.

According to him, this led to the development of the bi-lateral power optimization, which is being utilised by some areas in Lagos State, such as Magodo, Ogudu GRA, Ikeja GRA and Gbagada Phase II, among others.

He said NERC, in the new national tariff model, adopted the Service-based Tariff used by the company in these locations.

Obi-chukwu said Ikeja Electric had estimated a Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) that would strengthen its distribution network, improve revenue collection, and reduce technical losses and efficient service delivery going forward.

He, however, said the company is faced with some challenges, particularly the outstanding debt, stressing that efforts were ongoing to ensure recovery of the debt. He listed other challenges to include energy theft, vandalism, difficulty in accessing Foreign Exchange to procure equipment, volatility of the Naira and disruptions from transmission network.

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