The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Electric Distribution Company, Engineer Abiodun Ajifowobaje, has described the journey so far for the company as a tough one.
Ajifowabaje, who spoke on Thursday at the annual West African Power Industry Convention, said IKEDC inherited a broad band without any data of its customers.
He said the company inherited a customer population of 636,160, with only 495,549 on its billing platform.
About 58,000 out of the 138,000 pre-paid metres inherited by the the company had been compromised, with the regime of estimated billing nationwide in force, adding that 20per cent of the PPM then were even obsolete.
Ajifowobaje said this was a shock to the company but the work had to be done, adding: “We engaged our technical partners, KEPCO of Korea, to carry out due diligence on the present metering systems, recommend adequate and futuristic metering technology that will serve customers and the environment and prepare a metering role plan that will shorten the mandatory five years metering of all customers to three years and also recommend a metering gap, while the study is ongoing.
Ajifowobaje said after a good look into the research, the company came up with steps to actualise the goals.
This system enabled IKEDC to measure, analyze and report the energy consumption across its network.
It also allowed IKEDC develop an accurate picture of its sources of energy losses.
Ajifowobaje said: “We also worked with one of the greatest technological companies to produce Smart Meters, but not just smart meters but a smart meter that will enable two-way communication between the meter and IKEDC Headquarters, enabling the remote operations and monitoring of meters for billing and other purposes. Automated meter management yields invaluable information to help improve operations and business efficiency.”
He also took time out to explain how an Automatic Metering Infrastructure works and is the best for this economy.
He said the automatic metering infrastructure is a two-way communication gadget as it monitors smart meters and measures and analyzes energy usage.
With this system, a signal will be sent to the headquarters in case of bypass and send the location.
It enables utilities to read, disconnect and connect meters remotely and to detect individual customer outages quickly, using a wireless communications network.
This, he said, will reduce day-to-day utility operational costs by streamlining processes and automating the matching of resources with demand.
Ajifowobaje said moves were also made to reach out in Customer Relationship Management System and it has really helped IKEDC to manage interactions with its customers.
He said the staff are being sent on training in their various fields, just for the sole aim of giving the best satisfaction to customers and to clear the negative perception created in the era of the National Electric Power Authority, which was transferred to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
Ajifowobaje said IKEDC started up with a target to roll out and install over 600,000 new meter before five years, install another 595,000 pieces, adding: “And I am happy that we are catching up.”
He said presently IKEDC is installing 500 meters daily.
He encouraged IKEDC customers not to be dismayed as there is a brighter future in the company.