The House committee on Privitisation and Commercialisation has commended the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company in Lagos State for its continuing customer and stakeholder engagement activities geared towards ensuring prompt issue resolution and enhancement of power distribution to customers within the IKEDC network.
Speaking during the committee’s oversight tour to IKEDC, the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Khadija Ibrahim Bukar, noted that the upgrade of the company’s contact centre to entertain calls from customers in the major Nigerian languages as well as forums with customers and Community Development Associations is indicative of a healthy development that will enhance the desired growth of the sector.
According to Bukar: “IKEDC has made the most progress among the discos in customer service, stakeholder engagement and human resource development.
“While technology sits at the base of the company, the human element cannot be ignored.
“I urge IKEDc to keep this trend up and even improve on it.”
Also speaking, Engineer Abiodun Ajifowobaje, the MD/CEO of IKEDC, said the company had since the handover last November adopted innovative approach to achieving quick wins in the face of the challenges of inadequate power supply, vandalism, energy theft and gas shortage.
On when customers will get pre-paid meters, Ajifowobaje said: “We are working in conjunction with our technical partners to come up with a robust metering system that will serve all classes of customers effectively. This system will enhance automation on the network, eradicate the complaints of estimated billing and check energy theft being perpetrated by people tinkering with the pre-paid meters. What we are assuring our esteemed customers that our metering strategy is an ongoing project and will ensure they are adequately and efficiently metered.”
On the state of power in the country, he said: “The distribution companies are at the end of the energy value chain and can only distribute the power generated and transmitted by Gencos and Transcos. The power situation has been grossly affected by the activities of vandals on NNPC pipelines and incessant vandalisation of our facilities and installation. The challenge of inadequate gas supply is huge and what we have been receiving in terms of allocation has reduced significantly from 900MW before the handover to barely 300MW as we speak. However, we are committed to ensuring equitable distribution of available power to our customers at all times, whilst exploring other avenues like embedded generation in our bid to enhance the power we distribute to our esteemed customers.”
On when there will be improvement in power supply, he said: “The power sector requires an overhaul of existing infrastructure, investment in new technology and capacity building to enable us move to a position of uninterrupted power supply. The good news is that we are already doing this working with our partners KEPCO, a globally respected organisation with huge achievements in the power sector. We have so far invested over N700 million to enhance our network and we are committed to doing much more in this regard because we believe we have the people and expertise required to deliver the best possible service. Yes there are challenges and we will need the patience and support of Nigerians as we continue to work towards achieving the goal of affordable, sustainable and uninterrupted power supply.”