The Acting Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Dr. Vincent Akpotaire, has commended Omotosho Electric Energy Company Limited, in Ondo State for its feat in utilising its eight turbines to generate electricity at its full 304 megawatts capacity despite daunting challenges in the power sector and the national economy.
The challenge now is for the firm to sustain its achievement before investing in a project to increase its generating capacity.
Mr Akpotaire who disclosed this at Omotosho during a post-privatisation monitoring and evaluation trip by a BPE team, also lauded the company for increasing its staff strength from 150 pre-privatisation to 176 now.
The acting Deputy Director in BPE, who was represented by Mr. Razaq Adedigbathe, Deputy Director in BPE, however urged the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the electricity distribution companies to improve their performance to avoid regular directive to the generating companies especially Omotosho Genco to reduce production below their generating capacities because of their inability to take up the generated power.
Mr Samuel Kuti Itsekiri, the Managing Director of Omotosho Electric Energy Company Limited, told BPE team that for Nigeria to achieve a reliable, efficient and steady electricity supply, all the regulatory agencies in the power sector must do their jobs effectively.
According to Mr. Itsekiri, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), said, for instance, should ensure that the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) invest adequately to get the right technology to improve their power distribution and revenue collection as well as forestall power stealing or meter by-pass. In this way, the discos will be able to pay for the power supplied to them by the generation companies.
He advised the DISCOs to seek other investors to raise funds to enable them improve their services.
He also informed the BPE team that since take over in 2014, the new owners have injected funds into the company which has seen the plant operating its eight Turbines at 100 percent capacity with occasional drop whenever there was no gas supply to the company.
Itsekiri said although the Company plans further investments this would be achievable only if there “is stability in gas supply and a halt in pipeline vandalism and improvement in payment for power supplied”.
The MD said, despite its achievements, the greatest challenge of the firm is paying for gas as its monthly gas bills exceeds its monthly receipts for electricity supplied to the national grid.
The MD also stated that since privatization, the company has employed 176 staff made up of 150 Nigerians and 26 expatriates. He said the rise in employment was necessitated by progressive increase in power generation arising from the utilization of the eight turbines rather than the two prior to privatisation.
He said as part of the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), it had executed the following: Employment of over 80 indigenes in various capacity, Building and equipping of a community Health Centre, Building of a mini stadium/sponsorship of annual school inter-house sport; and Construction of six bore holes for the community among others.
The BPE team which was taken round the offices and plants, commended the clean environment which is conducive for day-to-day business.