The Federal Government is to invest about N72 into the operations of the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos).
The intervention, according to the Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who was a guest on Channels Television’sprogramme Sunrise Daily, explained that the move was aimed at boosting power supply through the installation of transformers, breakers and new lines.
The Minister said majority of the problems in the power sector value chain are at the distribution end, hence the decision to intervene with the N72 billion investments.
‘The Federal Government as a 40 percent holder of equities has decided to invest in the Discos. Already, we have approvals to invest N72 billion. These approvals have been submitted to the cabinet office as they come through to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). We would see improved capacity.
The Minister said, though the Discos remained privatised entities, but since they cannot raise the required capital to improve on their distribution network, government, on its part as a shareholder with 40 per cent stake, has decided to raise the funds through shareholders loans.
Meanwhile, ffforts to address the high rate of estimated bills may have received the needed attention as Ikeja Electric has announced the setting up a “Bill Dispute Resolution Panel” (BDRP) across its undertaking offices to help expedite cases of disputed bills.
A statement by the Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofolue, disclosed that, the panel, which comprises selected staff with expertise in the business operations and customer services, will meet with customers, once every month across its six Business Units to resolve persistent complaints arising from estimated billing.
The panel, he said, will equally be empowered to resolve these cases expeditiously relying on company processes and regulatory requirements.
Ofulue, added that, the idea of setting up the BDRP is to quickly and amicably resolve lingering service issues raised by customers
“In a service industry like the power sector, disputes occurring as a result of dissatisfaction from a customer are inevitable.
However, if inadequately managed, disputes can be bad for business and even go as far as negatively impacting on the customer’s loyalty and business brand respectively. So, we understand that fact and we are doing the best within our control to manage our customer’s expectations”