The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC),has disclosed plans to spend N91billion in five years to improve network, meter customers and automate operations.
The power company said it will deploy 104,000 in first year and scale up yearly to ensure 98percent customer metering by 2024.
John Ayodele, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, disclosed these at its 2021 half year press conference in Ibadan, where he also said that the power company will spend N310million in first year and then scale up to ensure safety of customers and employees.
He lamented that energy theft/vandalism constitutes huge challenge to his company inspite of the giant strides it is making to ensure improved services to its customers.
According to him, the company loses N4billion to vandalism monthly, adding that the development didn’t bode well consumers who ought to shield power facilities from unwarranted destruction.
He added: “Energy theft/vandalism is a big problem. Over 15,032 captured cases of energy theft between January and July 2021.7 out of every 10 new meters installed are bypassed in the first week of installations, while incessant vandalisation of distribution assets (about 122 incidence in 2020 alone running into over 200million loss annually)”.
He said 95 of customers of the power firm do not pay their bills fully, adding that ministries and agencies owed his company over N8.5billion as at last year.
He further lamented that his company incurred loss of N56. 1billion last year on energy alone without other variables like salaries, operating expenses.
He expressed that the losses incurred by power distribution firms in Nigeria make it difficult for investors to invest in the power industry.
He also lamented skyrocketing energy cost, saying it was driven by impact of worsening exchange rate on gas price, inflation, constraints on the grid and the frequent collapse of the grid.
He declared zero tolerance for corruption in the and rallied stakeholders to blow the whistle on the company’s staff suspected to be perpetrating fraud or cheating customers.
He told newsmen that the company had over the years been dismissing and prosecuting staff found wanting in untoward act, adding that it will not rest on its oars in cleansing the staff of rot.
He said two of the company company’s field officers would be fired on Wednesday over fraudulent act.