The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Youdeowei, Ikeja Electric, said at the signing ceremony of the MoU on Wednesday that energy accountability had been the bane of the nation’s energy sector.
He said, “It is, therefore, necessary that we continue to invest and commit resources to improve our capacity to meter correctly and fairly the consumption patterns of as many consumers as we can. This N570m MoU is a further demonstration of our long-term commitment to invest the required sum to ensure there is a turnaround in the experience of our customers.”
Youdeowei, who was represented by the company’s Chief Finance Officer, Olubunmi Olukoju, noted that the company recently spent N150m to totally upgrade its Ogudu injection substation, which improved overall power supply in the axis.
He said, “Our resolve to meter every customer is unwavering and as such, we continue to invest huge sums not only to deliberately strengthen the network but to also sustain our meter roll-out plan. Our current strategy of metering commercial points is crucial as it allows us to accurately determine the amount of energy consumed on a feeder by feeder basis and after careful consideration, using our estimated billing methodology, customers get a more transparent, fair and accurate bill.
“We are also proud to partner Mojec International, a local content manufacturer that has proved their worth as far as this sector is concerned. We are a proudly Nigerian company, which remains committed to the Nigerian vision. By partnering us on this, we will achieve total metering of our feeders and distribution transformers and proceed further into other areas of mutual interest.”
The IE boss commended the regulator for considering penalties and fines for energy theft and other related criminal activities impacting the power sector negatively.
“We hope that stronger laws will discourage the wanton attacks on our assets. Progress in these areas is very encouraging even as we continue to contend with other issues like meter bypass, assault on our staff, vandalising of assets, and the general apathy to pay for energy consumed,” Youdeowei said.
The Managing Director, Chantelle Abdul, described the signing ceremony as an august occasion “because Ikeja Electric is partnering a local meter manufacturing company.
“They have chosen to partner Mojec International; we definitely went through a rigorous tender process to get to where we are today. We, as a local manufacturing company, will not only have to provide sound quality meters to enable them to achieve their objectives but to also provide financing. Metering is extremely capital intensive.”
According to her, the distribution companies cannot achieve metering alone without the intervention and participation of the government, the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks.
“We believe that we need all hands on deck to be able to roll out more meters in Nigeria today,” Abdul said.
She said the company had been able to deliver 50 per cent of the quantity required for the DT meters, adding, “That goes to speak to the fact that local meter manufacturers can indeed partner with our utilities and deliver on our obligations. So, we don’t necessarily need to import meters.”