The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) says it has spent over 15 million dollars on upgrading equipment within its network to improve service delivery.
Dr. Tinuade Sanda, the Chief Executive Officer, EKEDC, disclosed this during its Ijora District customer engagement forum in Lagos on Thursday.
Customers at the forum were drawn from the Yaba, Iganmu, Ota, Onike, Surulere, and Aguda areas.
Sanda, who was represented at the forum by Mr Aik Alenkhe, Chief Human Resources Officer, EKEDC, stressed that cumulatively, the company had spent 15 million dollars on infrastructural development within its network.
According to her, Every year, EKEDC commits a significant portion of its CAPEX to infrastructural development.
“A portion of our capital expenditure are committed to rehabilitation, construction and maintenance of various projects within the network to ensure efficient and effective service delivery.
This includes changing of transformers, upgrading of injection substations, rehabilitation of transformers and other projects,” she said.
The EKEDC boss said, “Our mission in Eko DisCo is to improve the quality of lives of all customers by utilising cutting-edge technology to safely, sustainably and reliably supply electricity.
“That is what we stand for, and we will continue to promote this.
She expressed confidence that Eko Disco was committed to economic and infrastructure development.
According to her, the company is also committed to delivering safe, reliable and steady power supply to customers within its network operations.
On metering, Sanda said that the Disco had a goal to achieve 100 per cent metering of its customers.
She said that it was important to note that the money collected from customers was owned by all the players within the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) value chain.
“The remittances to the market operator by the DisCos (Distribution Companies) are shared within the value chain, and the balance received by the DisCos is used for infrastructure needs, operations and staff salaries.
“It is an acknowledged fact by all stakeholders in NESI that the elimination of estimated billings and urgent targeted metering of customers with prepaid meters is the way to go.
“Nowadays, there are bottleneck specifically from Gencos (Generation Companies),” the CEO added.
On vandalisation, the EKEDC boss urged customers to be its watchdogs and to report any form of equipment vandalisation to the management.
She solicited the support of customers and stakeholders in tackling energy theft and vandalisation within its network.
Sanda said that despite huge investment in power infrastructure by EKEDC, vandalisation of equipment was still on the high side.
She said activities of vandals were crippling power distribution to the company’s esteemed customers.
Recently, we reported cases of stolen cables, damaged transformers and other network infrastructure,” she said, decrying the spate of vandalisation within its network.
The chief executive officer noted that vandalisation had adversely affected power distribution to customers.
She explained that the economic power and livelihood of the customers had been disrupted due to vandalisation.
She appealed to customers to jealously guard electrical installations within their environments to avoid being plunged into unexpected darkness.
“We implore all residents and customers to report any act suspected to be vandalisation to the nearest Police Station, Civil Defence and the Department of State Service,” Sanda said.
According to her, the alarming cases of illegal connections, meter bypass, apathy to payment of electricity bills and vandalism have been on a steady rise recently.
She narrated instances where customers using prepaid meters connived with electricians to bypass meters with the aim of evading payment for energy consumed.
The negative impact of the rising cases of energy theft and vandalism has become worrisome to the company, that is why we have commenced intensive campaign against energy theft and vandalism across our Business Units to curb the illegalities.
“While we are also soliciting the support of communities to assist EKEDC in curbing these illegal activities, the provision of improved and stable electricity supply is a collective responsibility that requires collaboration of stakeholders.
“As the ricocheting effect will not only impede progress in the power sector and affect revenue, but will also erode the quality of electricity supply to our customers,” Sanda explained.
She warned of dire sanctions for offenders, saying that energy theft and vandalisation were punishable offences under Section 94(3) of the EPSRA Act 2005 and culprits were liable to imprisonment for five to seven years.
The CEO reiterated the company’s commitment to curbing energy theft, vandalism and other illegalities perpetrated by unscrupulous elements within its network.
Mr Okpo Onyekwere, EKEDC’s General Manager, Technical Services, lamented the reduction in energy allocation to the company on daily basis.
Onyekwere said that the daily energy allocation to the company had reduced from 513 megawatts to 350 megawatts in the last two weeks.
But we have been working hard to ensure every customer within our network enjoys uninterrupted power supply.
“We have demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness and you have all attested to it that EKEDC is passionate about what we do,” he said.
Chief Adegbesan Olusegun, the Baale of Araromi Community, commended the company for its prompt response to faults and for organising the customers’ forum to discuss development within each communities under its network.
Olusegun urged communities to also assist the DisCo in protecting their equipment in their respective locations.
He urged residents to always report illegal energy users or energy thefts within their neighbourhood.
“EKEDC management cannot do it alone, they also need the cooperation of everyone to achieve desired goals in serving us.
“I urged the EKEDC management to also find lasting solutions to issue of estimated billings and metering challenges,” Olusegun said.