By Isaac Anumihe
Following the low performance rating of electricity distribution firms in the country, the Acting Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire, has advised the owners of the successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to borrow from both local and international funding sources to improve their operations.
The BPE Acting Director General who gave the advice during the flag-off of the agency’s periodic post-privatisation monitoring exercise at the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) in Ibadan, reminded Distribution Companies (Discos) in the country that they won the bid of their respective companies based on the Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) they submitted.
According to him, they could only achieve that if they consciously expand and improve their network operation because if the network is not improved and metering not aggressively pursued they cannot reduce technical and collection losses.
Akpotaire noted the impressive investments and progress the IBEDC has made especially with the embedded generation project in collaboration with British America Tobacco (BAT) and admonished that it is still not enough because any investment it makes is in perpetuity. “You need to find answers to the liquidity challenge,” he said.
He informed owners of the IBEDC that the Vice President and Chairman of National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, were working assiduously to ensure that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) debts were paid as soon as possible and enjoined the power owners to work to improve power efficiency in view of the effort the government was making to get electric power to the people and to get them pay for it. He said the general impression was that the Discos were not performing.
The BPE Acting Director General commended the company for its effort at upgrading facilities and urged the management to make conscious effort to meet, if not exceed, the agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). He tasked them on the need to have a team of professional staff to drive the new technology they had deployed in information technology and other areas.
The BPE monitoring team was received by the IBEDC Managing Director, Mr. John Donnachie, who briefed the team on the company’s operations, progress, challenges and prospects. He later took the team to the company’s various facilities and the embedded plant at Nampak Properties, which is being built for the company’s captive market for industrial clusters at Oba Otudeko Avenue in Ibadan.