Dr Vincent Akpotaire, the Acting Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, has advised the management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to source for long-term funds from different sources in order to solve the metering challenges and improve tariff collection.
The acting director general stated this during the visit of the monitoring team of BPE to the headquarters of IBEDC in Ibadan.
Akpotaire said that the company had contractual obligations to improve on electricity distribution in its franchise, while also assuring that the Government was working hard on how to improve on electricity generation, which electricity distribution companies said was a major hindrance to their performance.
He said it was imperative that as contract managers, the bureau must try at all times to ensure that investors were made accountable for what they were contractually obligated to do.
According to him, “We are here to monitor the performance of this company. As you know, 60 percent of it has been sold to investors who have been managing it for the benefit of all Nigerians. At the point when they came in, they signed up to certain performance obligations to improve on electricity supply to Nigerians although that depends on the amount of power they receive from the national grid.
He further said, “We found out that there is room for improvement because there are substantial gaps in the compliance areas. Some of the gaps are in the area of metering. They have given different explanations for not meeting up in this area. One of the explanations is the issue of the tariff. The capital expenditure of the company is capped by National Electrical Research Development Council.
“My suggestion to the company is that in order to meet up, it needs to source for long-term funding from other sources because the investment here is a lifetime one and you can afford to put in everything you have. If you don’t improve on your metering, you cannot improve tariff collection from customers,” he said.
Akpotaire said the federal government was looking at alternative power plants to reduce the pressure on the national grid so as to improve on electricity supply.
He explained, “Since this administration came on board, it has done a lot in the area of power generation. It is working hard to get the Mambila hydro plant on stream and to make the small hydro plants around all the dams we have functioning so as to encourage mini-grids that will now enable the sector to free the national grid from some consumers and improve electricity supply.