Procurement of electricity distribution facilities, our responsibility, not customers’ – EKEDC urges FESTAC residents
The management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has assured customers in Festac Town, Satellite Town, Kirikiri Town, Agboju and others, under the Festac Business District of its commitment to dedicate the company’s capital expenditure (Capex) to procuring and rehabilitating distribution lines and transformers in order to boost power supply in the district.
Dr. Tinuade Sanda, EKEDC Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, who was represented at the forum by Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh, Chief Commercial Officer (COO) of the company, made this known during a customer engagement forum monitored by EnergyDay in Festac, Lagos, on Thursday.
This development according to the EKEDC management, is in furtherance of Dr. Tinuade’s led management of EKEDC to judiciously utilise the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)intervention funds for upgrade of DisCos’ infrastructure.
Mrs. Momoh said that the purpose of the meeting was to further interact with EKEDC’s customers across operational network, especially on areas of straightening collaborations in order to deliver on its services.
Chief Commercial Officer (COO) while responding to complaints on delayed delivery of meters to customers who have made payment, explained that wrong detail provided by some customers was responsible. She noted that the company has made efforts to reach out to them but never got any response.
She therefore encouraged unmetered customers to endeavour to purchase pre-paid meters to help put a stop to issues arising from estimated billing.
According to her, those categories of electricity users are not only prone to electricity theft but makes it difficult for distribution companies to determine their consumption and issue precise bills.
She also noted that the EKEDC will work on ensuring industrial areas like the Trade Fair zone in Festac get adequate supply of power during the working hours, while estates and other residential areas have it mostly at night.
Momoh equally advised customers to show concern, when people in their communities are seen bypassing meters. She stated that the majority of customers may end up servicing the electricity consumption of those criminals, adding that their cost would be passed on to others.
She emphasized to the customers the need the curb vandalism and illegal connections as these do not only affect supply but also pose a risk and hazard to lives and properties.
She stated that artisans whose type of work consumes so much electricity are meant to pay more, and should not shift the responsibility to other members of their communities by refusing to get metered. “Watch out for people like the welders. Ensure they have meters,” she advised.
The Chief Commercial Officer however assured the customers that EKEDC is planning to add an additional line to supply the Festac environs and improve its turnaround time on complaints concerning faults.
Engr. Femi Olaoye, EKEDC General Manager of Technical Services, in reaction to customers’ complain of the neglect by the DisCo in the purchase of distribution lines, and transformers, noted that the new management of the EKEDC, led by Dr. Tinuade, will not encourage any community within its network to spend any amount for that purpose.
He noted that procurement of equipment is the sole responsibility of the DisCo. “The new management of EKEDC does not expect or support communities spending a dime on distribution facilities,” Olaoye said.
The GM, Technical Services, however advised communities who still feel obliged, for some personal reasons, to purchase transformers for their community, to first consult with and reach an agreement with EKEDC, to prevent the possible abandonment of such transformers.
“Before you procure these facilities, you have to see us to have an agreement regarding them,” he said.
Engr. Olaoye further called on customers under the FESTAC district to have a comprehensive record of all members of their various communities that reflects the exact numbers of metered and unmetered electricity users. This according to him would ensure that customers are billed appropriately, particularly those without pre-paid meters.
Engr. Okpo Onyekwere, Head Network Maintenance, EKEDC, appealed to customers for the low electricity supply witnessed within the first half of 2022, noting that it was as a result of regular failure of the country’s power grid and the limited quantum of power supplied to its network by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), during the period.
“Since January, transmission to us has been really bad. Please bear with us,” Onyekwere appealed.
He stated also that the EKEDC takes the maintenance of its distribution facilities across board, a priority and has already concluded plans to increase the number of officials on its maintenance team soon.
Mr. Sola Fakorede, President of Festac Town Residents Association, commended the effort of the DisCo within Festac and its environs while encouraging both the power company and communities members to always embrace dialogue over protests in resolving matters relating to electricity supply.