By Etuka Sunday
The Managing Director/CEO of Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC), Engr. Ernest Mupwaya, has said that the Company welcomes partnerships with local and international stakeholders in its bid to deliver quality services to its customers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states.
Engr. Mupwaya gave the assurance while hosting members of the national executive council of the Nigerian Institute of Power Engineers (NIPE), who were on a knowledge-sharing visit to the headquarters of the AEDC, on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, “we’re open to strategic partnerships that would help in improving the quality of our services to our customers, because we acknowledge the fact that such collaborations with relevant stakeholders like the NIPE are critical for us to serve our customers well”.
Reiterating the significance of such partnerships, he said that though the AEDC has made significant progress in terms of investments in infrastructure, including new information technologies, the Company still requires tactical collaborations with various industry stakeholders to curb challenges like electricity theft, vandalism, and other forms of electricity offences.
Engr. Mupwaya specifically noted with concern the increasing sophistication of electricity thieves, notwithstanding the investments of the Company in technology to curb such cases, stressing however, that “we’ll continuously adopt innovations, including putting in place facilities that would give us forensic evidence in our efforts to stop electricity theft and improve on our revenue collection.
Earlier on in a comprehensive presentation on the AEDC journey since takeover by the current Management in November, 2013, the Engr. Mupwaya listed the numerous successes recorded by the Company, including the introduction of a metering system which has helped tremendously to enhance confidence building between the Company and its customers, network capacity improvement which has now made it possible for the AEDC to deliver about 870 megawatts (MW) of electricity to consumers, as well as replacement and installation of 630 transformers at the cost of N903 million.
He also disclosed the installation of automated meter reading (AMR) equipment that enables the Company to monitor attempts to tamper with meters by some customers, just as he announced that the Company is in the process of collecting vital data on its customers to speed up stakeholders engagement and information sharing, particularly during outages.
He specifically disclosed that with the customer data obtained so far, AEDC has started notifying its customers about scheduled and unscheduled outages through their cell phones.
The Head, Corporate Communications, AEDC, Oyebode Fadipe in a statement said, the AEDC MD’s presentation also touched on efforts to reduce the average technical, commercial and collection (ATC & C) losses, the achievement of which is imperative to enhance the Company’s efficiency in delivery improved services to its customers.
In his opening remarks, the NIPE President, Engr. Israel Abraham said his delegation was at the AEDC to rub minds and share knowledge with the Company’s Management team, saying that “we want to get to know what you have been doing as a critical stakeholder in the power sector value chain, because our primary interest is that this industry must work”.
Speaking further after the AEDC CEO’s presentation, Engr. Abraham commended the Company’s Management for the giant strides, and encouraged it to do more especially in the area of blocking revenue leakages, stressing that “the viability of your Company depends on your ability to collect your revenues and reduce the losses”.