By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba has described Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) as a World-Class Company with the capacity to distribute electricity to its numerous customers in Abuja, Nassarawa, Kogi and Niger States.
Jedy-Agba who undertook a visit to the AEDC Head Office in Abuja yesterday to inspect some projects, also pledged government’s support to make the company better.
“This DisCos especially for which we are today is doing very well, and I think they can do just a little more to be World-Class, but they are very good,’’ he said.
On the call by the National Assembly, to reverse the Power Privatisation of 2013, the Minister said, the plan of government was not to dismantle the DisCos, but to improve them.
“I don’t think, anybody is thinking of dismantling DisCos; We are thinking of revamping DisCos and adding to them to make them better,”
He however, noted that metering and revenue collection go-hand-in-hand therefore, urged the company to ensure that its target on metering is fully achieved.
The Minister said, with the facilities in AEDC, the company is doing very well therefore, advised other DisCos to replica such in their respective coverage areas.
Also addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AEDC, Engr. Ernest Mupwaya said, “As you’re aware, from the time we took over, there have been various metering initiatives: the first was to meter the large customers who were about 4,000, all of them are metered. Then CAPMI, which we installed 160, 000 meters, but latterly, under MAP, we have installed another 100, 000.
“We have a capability of installing 3,000 meters per day but we have been constrained because thousands of meters are stack at the port because of the issue of import duty. I’m glad we have information that the government is working to resolve the issue so that meters can become available. When they are available we are going to ramp up metering,” he said.
The AEDC MD listed some of the concerns of the company brought before the minister to include: reduced import duty for meters and payment of MDAs debts.
On why the company remitted only 11% to NBET in March, Engr. Mupwaya explained: “when you look at the statistics of percentages, you must be very careful because they don’t tell the real story.
“At the time of takeover for instance, the collection was N2billion.
Today, we are collecting on average of N6.5billion but the market bills have been increasing. Although this not public knowledge.
When there is a movement in the foreign exchange, the bill increases.
When there is a movement in inflation, that increases as well, but the adjustment on the customer billing has lagged behind, so, when you say this is the percentage you are paying, you are comparing it with the percentage which it has increased overtime.
“For instance, in AEDC, our wholesale price at which we receive energy has gone up by more than 130% but our own bill to the customers has only gone up by 16%. So, if you are looking at percentages, you’ll be misled. But if you look at the quantum of what we are paying, you will see that we are paying in the region of N4billion which is a great improvement from takeover,” he said.