The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) says it loses over N2.5 billion monthly to vandalization of its power installations and customers who refused to pay their electricity bills.
Speaking during the commissioning of its office/electricity consumers’ town hall meeting in Ilorin, yesterday, the managing director/CEO of IBEDC, John Donnachie, also said the development was killing power investment in the country.
A minimum of N2.5 billion is lost on energy business alone every month aside operating expenses, he said, adding that uncollected revenue was so high it was affecting their ability to pay for energy costs.
“And if we don’t pay energy costs given to us with interest of about 17 and 18 per cent, there’s problem. What we bill is even lower than the energy cost we get. So, customers have to pay their bills to enable us buy transformers, meters and go ahead to serve them better,” he said.
The IBEDC boss, who was represented at the event by the marketing manager, Henry Ijoshe, charged people to protect power assets and installations in their various communities using the local vigilance security services and proper monitoring, adding that criminals tampered with power installations daily.
“Metres and components of metres are being stolen daily. Energy theft is so rampant. People tamper with power installations every day. We shouldn’t turn blind eyes to these happenings. We should discourage such criminal activities and guard power assets,” he urged.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), John Momoh, said the commission planned to inject an average of about 217,611 meters into the Ibadan Disco network annually over the next five years to close the present metering gap of one million as against total customer size of 1.6 million in the area.
Momoh, represented by the commissioner, Consumer Affairs, Dr. Moses Arigu, lauded the opening of the Ilorin customer complaints forum office, saying that customers in Kwara State had expressed dissatisfaction over quality of service from IBEDC in recent times.
“It is on record that within January and September 2018, IBEDC recorded a significant number of unresolved complaints, out of which 2,155 were from customers within Ilorin and its environs who were dissatisfied with services rendered. Majority of these complaints have been on voltage and billing issues,” he said.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST