From Omale Adama Lokoja
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has assured electricity consumers in Kogi State of a transparent and fair billing for the services rendered to them.
Team Leader, Client Relationship and Customer Services of the company, Dr. Halidu Balami, gave the assurance while briefing members of the Kogi State House of Assembly on Wednesday, when he led a delegation from the AEDC to the Assembly.
Dr. Balami, who also assured of improved quality of services to the customers in the state, revealed to the House that his company inherited five different vending platforms after privatisation in November last year.
He said, however, that the platforms have already been audited and the AEDC will soon migrate to a new efficient one to support flexible e-payments, such as through POS, internet, as well as SMS (electronic wallet), in the next 8 weeks.
According to him, the company has already introduced handheld meter devices to help eliminate estimated bills, stressing that 100 of such are would soon be deployed.
The AEDC top official listed some of the post privatisation challenges the company faced to include inadequate, weak and obsolete infrastructure resulting in epileptic power supply, lack of
willingness by some customers to pay for electricity, theft of energy and vandalism.
Dr. Balami, who was supported by other colleagues in his presentation to the Assembly, however revealed that in line with AEDC’s commitment to improved service delivery, it acquired and installed 140 transformers at the cost of over N200 million, to replace faulty ones.
Also, additional 200 distribution transformers with a combined capacity of 80MVA and an estimated value of N260 million are in theprocurement process, he said.
In addition, he listed other network improvement projects carried out by the AEDC since privatisation in November 2013, to include upgrading of a transformer at Lokoja in March 2014, which he said, added 15MVA to the network.
Other projects by the company, Dr. Balami said, include construction of a total of 49.5 kilometres of high tension (HT) lines between January and March this year, which enhanced network reconfigurations and reinforcements, and also boosted power supply in various communities in its coverage area, made up of Kogi, Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger states.
He also informed the lawmakers that the AEDC has established a call centre that is operational 24 hours every day, through which customers now channel their complaints for speedy action by company.
He also informed the legislators of plans by AEDC to hold a customer consultative forum, to enable it engage constructively with its esteemed customers in Kogi state in the next two weeks, stressing that his company just had a similar one for some customers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) last week.
Other members of the delegation include Assistant General Manager (AGM), Customer Service (Billing), Mr. D. D. Ibrahim; Head, Corporate Communications and Community Relations, Mr. Oyebode Fadipe; Business Manager, Lokoja Unit of AEDC, Malam Abdulganiyu Isa.
It would be recalled that the Kogi state House of Assembly, in a letter dated August 28, 2014, and addressed to the Lokoja BM of the company, invited the AEDC to “shed light on issues related to billings and payment of electricity bills by electricity consumers in Kogi state”.