IE Holds Media Chat With Energy Correspondents On Its Operationsikj
Ikeja Electric Plc, Nigeria’s largest distribution company recently hosted a media chat with Energy Correspondents in Lagos.
The interaction, provided an opportunity for the correspondents to get firsthand information on issues relating to the daily operations of the Disco and also afforded a suitable platform for IE to clarify on a few misconceptions making rounds especially with regard to the recent misunderstood NERC pronouncement.
Speaking on the clamor for meters by customers, Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue, explained that metering of customers was ongoing, though at a slower pace than earlier planned, due to the economic realities and challenges of cost and forex. He assured on the fairness and transparency of the estimation billing process and noted that IE always maintained several easy to access channels for customers to complain where they feel they are being unfairly billed.
Ofulue informed that IE had metered virtually all of her Maximum Demand Customers, while also engaging the service of local meter manufacturers to meter 11KV lines, 33KV lines and all the public distribution transformers across its network.
Reacting to allegations of functional analogue meters not being read, Ofulue clarified on the technical definition of obsolescence, noting that with age, accuracy of most of these “functional” meters was unsure, hence the use of the estimation billing method. He however conceded that where tests carried out on location by technical teams showed that the meters were still accurate, the company had resorted to reading them.
Ofulue decried the poor response to payment of electricity bills, noting that to date IE was being owed over N88b from consumers. He explained that the company had no choice but to disconnect long outstanding debtors especially after various debt discount initiatives and opportunities, which provided a fair repayment schedule for customers with huge debts was introduced and yet ignored by some.
On issues bordering on safety, Ofulue said, “we are passionate about the safety of our workers, especially those in the field. Ikeja Electric ensures network safety monitoring in all the Business Units and Undertakings to identify hazards for immediate attention which has helped reduce third party incidences in the system.”
IE has spent over N90m in the last one year to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure staff are adequately protected.