Ikeja Electric says some of the challenges facing the power distribution company include an outstanding N70.97 billion debt owed to the company by its customers.
Ugo Obi-Chukwu, the company’s chief marketing officer, said the bulk of the debt was owed by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). He said efforts were ongoing to ensure the repayment of the debt.
Mr Obi-Chukwu made the disclosure during a visit of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialization to the company on Thursday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee was led on the oversight visit by its Chairman, Theodore Orji, a former Governor of Abia.
According to Mr Obi-Chukwu, 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 other challenges facing the company included energy theft, difficulty in accessing foreign exchange to procure equipment, volatility of the naira and disruptions from the transmission network.
The company also said it had installed prepaid meters for about 400,000 customers out of 1.1 million since 2013.
Mr Obi-Chukwu noted that the number of metered customers under Ikeja Electric was the highest among all the 11 DisCos.
He said the company was intensifying efforts to further bridge the metering gap.
He said the DisCo had been making investments to upgrade its network in order to guarantee reliable and stable power supply to its customers.
Mr Obi-Chukwu 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 said the development led to the bi-lateral power optimisation being utilised by some areas in Lagos State such as Magado, Ogudu Government Reservation Area ( G.R. A), Ikeja G.R.A, Gbagada Phase Two, among others.
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.
Earlier in her address of welcome, Folake Soetan, chief executive officer, Ikeja Electric, thanked the lawmakers for the visit to the company.
Mrs Soetan attributed the company’s achievements to collaboration with NERC, the Bureau of Public Enterprises and other stakeholders.
She said the company would continue to invest in modern technology and equipment to ensure quality power supply to its customers.
In his remarks, Mr Orji said the visit of the committee was in line with its statutory responsibility to oversight privatised entities for better performances.
Mr 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.