The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) says it plans to invest N14 billion in technical infrastructure to reposition its business operations and provide electricity to underserviced communities
The Managing Director of IBEDC, Mr Kingsley Achife, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Ibadan.
Achife said that the N14 billion investment would be over the next 18 months to improve its distribution channels and ensure adequate supply.
He said that with investment in infrastructure, the company would serve the community and public much better than it has been doing and expressed the hope that its customers would reciprocate by paying for its services.
“So come with about four themes; we’re looking at source and distribution, here we’re going to create commercial lines, we’re going to provide premium services, we’re going to look at our network, how we get energy and how we distribute it.
“As you know there’s been a big shortfall in the demand and supply of energy in Nigeria. Lagos did put out something where they said that there’s 45,000 megawatts demand for energy in their energy policies and 15,000 which is in Lagos.
“And that’s the reason we looked at sourcing and distribution as something we need to address seriously and we are talking to a number of companies to see if we can buy extra power outside the grid to be able to serve these communities,” he said.
The IBEDC MD said the company has been doing everything in its power to bring excellent service to its customers, so as to reduce the number of people that were underserved in the communities.
He noted that the company had about 550 communities that were underserved or yet to be served.
“We are addressing it with franchising. We have been able to franchise about three of them now and more will follow.
“And we will also address it with mini grids and solar. We are also going to also outsource them by providing some other services which are part of the things we are doing to be able to deal with this issue.
“So we hope that before the end of the year we are going to bring down quite a number of these.”
Achife noted that about 500 transformers were faulty in the company’s network and it intends to provide about 300 transformers in the course of 2023 to relieve the suffering of existing customers who could no longer enjoy electricity.
He said within the period of six months he assumed office the company has been leveraging technology to ensure effective service delivery.
“We’ve been able to meet to a large extent the bills we’re getting from the market, the achievement can speak for itself.”
Speaking on the recent power outage in some areas within its franchise area, Achife said ” I know that recently people have been expressing a lot of disruption in their supplies around Ibadan, it is because transmission is re-tooling some of their lines.
“So from Ayede to Jericho to Eleyele and then another one around Ibadan north to Akobo, quite a lot of people will be experiencing this until the transmission finishes their work, and that is just one aspect of their work.
“And there’s also the aspect of the interface between us and them which again requires a lot of investment.
“We have signed some agreements with them on where they need to expand and allow us to take more power because their equipment is old and obsolete.
“And they’re now constraining us to take lower than the amount of power we should take. This also affects people in Ijebu-Ode and other areas as well.”
Achife noted the negative impact insecurity is having on access to electricity as it had increased the number of people migrating from the Northern part of the country to the Southwest.
He also stated that electricity tariff has not been cost-reflective to enhance power in the sector.
The IBEDC MD said that though the government had been providing the shortfall in terms of loans, but a lasting solution would be a cost-reflective tariff for a sustainable economy.
Achife said the biggest challenge has been revenue collection and ensuring credible bills were given out to customers.
The MD called on the government to pass legislation on the right of way for utility as it is being done in developed countries. Achife said this would bring order and reduce illicit digging of roads after their construction and would make it easier for utility companies to repair anytime such was required.
He also said staff welfare had been on the front burner as well as training, adding that awards in gold and silver categories were given to deserving staffers who sustained their performance between six months and one year.