…spends N6.5bn on infrastructure since 2013
By Etuka Sunday
Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) said it has procured a new U-Vision and computers worth N400 million that would enhance its revenue collection.
The Managing Director of AEDC, Engr. Ernest Mupwaya who disclosed this in Abuja said, the new infrared tech would begin operation this week and would monitor the company’s field staff while distributing electricity bills to customers and during disconnection.
“It will raise our revenue collection and will help to improve power supply to our customers because we will have more funds to buy transformers, install meters and enhance our services,” he said.
Speaking in a workshop organised by the Company for Energy Correspondents, the MD said, that the liquidity issue in the power sector is affecting the company therefore, the new technology would help trace customers history of payments.
According to him, his firm which is among the 11 power supply firms privatised in 2013, has spent N6.5 billion to improve infrastructure in its coverage area.
He said the firm has also reduced its Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses to 48 per cent while ranking first on energy payments to the Generation Companies (GenCos) for over one year.
This is coming three days to the fourth anniversary of the power sector privatisation in Nigeria, with private investors taking over operation of 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) and several GenCos on November 1, 2013.
He said the breakdown of the N6.5bn spent include N900 million for the replacement of over 374 faulty transformers, procurement of 145 vehicles to ease logistic issues and bush clearing of over 11,400 kilometre power lines to check avoidable power outages in its franchise area.
At present, the Abuja DisCo’s network spanning the states of Kogi, Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger have been upgraded to 870 megawatts (mw) capacity which the management said is higher than the 650mw highest electricity is has ever received from the national grid.
“We have maintained 8,138 distribution substation transformers since 2016 out of the 12,000 units we have. We are maintaining about 60 to 90 every day and we have a target to reach the 12,000 by the end of this year when we will start a fresh cycle again,” Mupwaya explained.
The AEDC boss noted that although its electricity customers may not see any impact yet but when the second cycle of maintenance is reached, there is bound to be visible and stable electricity supply across places.
Also speaking at the workshop, the Pioneer Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Ransome Owan said, once power is gotten right, Nigeria’s GDP would be ahead of other countries of the world.
He said, the economic availability of power should be considered for the economy of the country to grow, therefore, urged the federal government to de-risk the sector so as to attract more investors.
He said, Foreign Direct Investment has been frozen in the power sector, saying that the velocity of electricity flowing in must be matched with the revenue coming in so as to have a balance business.