The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, Engr. Kingsley Achife, has said that the company plans to invest N14 billion in technical infrastructure to enhance its operations.
Engr Achife, during a media parley at the company’s headquarters in Ibadan, said the investment, which will span over an 18-months period, is aimed at strengthening the company’s network and repositioning its business through infrastructural development.
He said, “In terms of investment, the Federal Government has been a source of succour for this industry. But there is a reason for that, the tariff has never been cost-reflective. The government has recognised this and has been helping us make investments but those investments are loans.
“We are also attracting vendor financing. People have approached us that they want to take up parts of our area and invest and improve the network and partner with us to get back their money over a period of time. We are also making investments ourselves as well as the investments individuals and communities are making.
“For IBEDC, over N14 billion has been pledged that is going into the system, most of which will go into technical infrastructure. We already plan to provide about 300 new transformers this year. There is also an interface between us and transmission (TCN), where they are going to put up some new things and when they do, it will allow us to off-take power. And we need to put up lines to be able to off-take power.”
He said the company is committed to offering excellent services to its customers by adopting several measures.
“We are looking at source and distribution where we are going to create commercial lines, we are going to provide premium services, we are going to look at our network– how we get energy and how we distribute it.
“There is a big gap in the demand and supply of energy in Nigeria. That is the reason we looked at sourcing and distribution of energy as one of the things we need to address seriously and we have gone to a number of companies to see if we can buy extra power outside the grid to be able to serve our communities.
“We are bringing excellence to our service to our customers by ensuring that the underserved and unserved communities, we reduce the number of people in these categories.
“We have about 550 underserved communities, we are addressing it with franchising. We have been able to franchise three of them, and more will follow. We are also addressing it with mini-grids and solar. We are also going to address it by providing some other services,” he said.
The IBEDC helmsman said through the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Scheme, the company has been able to address metering shortages and revenue shortfalls in its franchise area.
“The flagship metering programme the regulator has is the Meter Asset Provider (MAP). Last year, we were able to have 127,000 that were metered. This year we hope that since there is more awareness, we should be able to have 250,000. This will help to reduce the challenge of metering and if the government comes in with the Mass Metering Programme, we hope we will be able to drive down our metering shortfall.
“We have started metering every transformer. Hopefully, we will do the metering this year. We hope to be able to show every community how much energy they have consumed every given month so that even if we can’t meter every home, we can know how much a transformer has consumed. Once we begin to do that, they will not accuse us of giving them crazy estimated bills,” he said.
Achife also noted that in its desire to improve the welfare of its staff, IBEDC conducted 39 pieces of training for staff in 2022 and a 25 percent increase of salaries for staff across board.