EKEDC has Connected 63% of its Customers to Improve Power Supply- Sanda

…Electricity company has 5-year plan to eliminate estimated billing

Managing Director (MD) of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Dr. Tinuade Sanda, said at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) 3-day town hall Meeting for customers in Lagos, that the utility firm has already metered 63 percent of its customers.

EKEDC has exerted its Leadership in metering as it launched a 5-year plan to connect additional 120,000 customers annually from 2024 to 2028.

However, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued a stern warning to electricity customers against independently procuring transformers, cables, and other distribution infrastructure for the Distribution Companies (DisCos), emphasising that any such procurement must involve a formal agreement between the customers and utility company.

EKEDC Customer Complaints Meeting organised by NERC provided platforms for addressing electricity related complaints and urged them to attend the Customer Complaints Resolution with relevant documents to have their grievances heard and addressed.

Sanda, who was represented by Mr. Joseph Esenwa, the Chief Financial Officer, in her remark at the engagement session highlighted the increasing number of customer complaints at the Customers Engagement Forum and EKEDC’s commitment resolving them comprehensively.

The EKEDC MD further emphasized that while immediate solutions may not be available for all complaints based on their peculiarities, she therefore assured that thorough investigations will
be conducted to address them effectively and prompt actions.

Making further clarification concerning the 5-year metering plan, Dr. Sanda clarified that EKEDC will not solely provide all meters, as some will be sourced through Meter Asset Providers (MAP), Vendor’s funding, the Presidential Metering Initiatives, and other avenues.

The EKEDC’s boss further highlighted the challenges of electricity bill collection leading to a liquidity crisis that hinders significant progress in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

She revealed that the DisCos’ collection efficiency ranges from 76 to 82 percent, leaving a significant fraction of about 20 percent uncollected.

Dr. Sanda expressed concerns about the liquidity İssues impacting the company’s ability to fulfill its service promises to customers, including capital
expenditure, procurement of distribution
transformers, injection substations, cables, and other essential infrastructures.

She noted that these liquidity challenges have also affected asset replacement commitments, hindering the timely provision of necessary distribution infrastructures crucial for improving services to customers.

Dr. Sanda emphasized the urgency of addressing these infrastructure needs to enhance customer satisfaction amidst the prevailing liquidity constraints within the industry.

The EKEDC MD/ CEO also emphasized the necessity of implementing aggressive debt recovery strategies to address the liquidity crisis within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

The electricity company is committed to intensifying cash collection efforts by deploying field supervisors to ensure prompt settlement of electricity bills and conducting extensive customer sensitization campaigns to clarify the importance of bill payments.

Sanda said, EKEDC has launched aggressive debt recovery initiatives as the primary strategy to address financial challenges.

Speaking about investment in infrastructure within the DisCo network, Dr. Sanda discussed EKEDC’s engagement with various governmental bodies to expedite the operationalization of the Lekki and
Ajah substations.

She mentioned ongoing discussions with the Lagos State Government for the Lekki Substation and collaborations with the Ministry of Power, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), and the Federal Government Power Company (FGNPC) to accelerate the energization of these facilities.

Dr. Sanda affirmed EKEDC’s commitment to
investing additional funds into the substations if required, ensuring the timely realization of these crucial projects.

Mrs. Aisha Mahmoud, Commissioner of Consumer Affairs at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in her remark stated that she is currently in Lekki, Lagos, with her team to address the concerns of EKEDC customers directly.

Hajia Mahmoud noted the three-day availability of her team to promptly resolve issues within the EKEDC’s network, and highlights the proactive approach of NERC towards engaging with customers in person rather than waiting for complaints at the head office in Abuja.

The Nigerian Electricity Act, signed last year by President Bola Tinubu, mandates NERC to protect electricity consumers.

Mrs. Mahmoud further emphasized the commission’s responsibility to ensure fair tariffs, regulate utility companies, and prevent consumer exploitation.

The stakeholders Meeting will engender improvement in the power sector as respondents believe such gathering will continue to enlighten electricity consumers about efforts put in place by the DisCo going forward.


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