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Ikeja Electric: We’ve installed 400,000 prepaid meters in eight years

Ikeja Electric: We’ve installed 400,000 prepaid meters in eight years
July 29
17:27 2021

Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), an electricity distribution company in Lagos, says it has installed prepaid meters for about 400,000 customers out of 1.1 million since 2013.

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NAN reports that Ugo Obichukwu, chief marketing officer at IE, made this known during a visit of the senate committee on privatisation and commercialisation, led by Theodore Orji, its chairman, to the company on Thursday in Lagos.

According to Obichukwu, the number of metered customers under Ikeja Electric is the highest among all the 11 DisCos.

He said the company was intensifying efforts to further bridge the metering gap.

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Obichukwu said the DisCo had been making investments to upgrade its network in order to guarantee reliable and stable power supply to its customers.

He said the company in the past few years came up with innovative ideas that would ensure customer satisfaction for its commercial and residential customers.

He explained that the development led to the bi-lateral power optimisation being utilised by some areas in Lagos state such as Magodo, Ogudu Government Reservation Area (GRA) Ikeja GRA, Gbagada Phase Two, among others.

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He said the service-based tariff used by the company in these locations was adopted by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in the new national tariff model.

Obichukwu said Ikeja Electric had estimated a capital expenditure (CAPEX) that would strengthen its distribution network, improve revenue collection, reduce technical losses and efficient service delivery going forward.

He said the company was, however, faced with some challenges, particularly an outstanding N70.97 billion debt owed to the company by its customers.

Obichukwu said bulk of the debt was owed by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), while adding that efforts were ongoing to ensure the repayment of the debt.

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He listed other challenges to include energy theft, difficulty in accessing foreign exchange to procure equipment, volatility of the naira and disruptions from the transmission network.

In his remarks, Orji said the visit of the committee was in line with its statutory responsibility to oversight privatised entities for better performances.

Orji noted that the debt owed the DisCo was huge and an impediment to its vision of providing quality supply of electricity to its customers.

He assured the management of the company that the legislative arm of government would look into the issue since majority of the debt was owed by MDAs.

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