From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has decried what it calls the poor payment culture of its postpaid customers across the South-East, lamenting that it is killing its enterprise.
The company said it is disheartening the huge collection loss it is grappling with is occuring despite the steady improvement in the quality of its services.
Making the disclosure in Enugu at the weekend after the just concluded Cash Drive exercise embarked on by the company across its network last week, the Head, Corporate Communications, Emeka Ezeh, said the attitude of the customers has left the company with a rising debt profile.
Ezeh noted that EEDC was striving to improve on the quality of services and at the same time meet up with its regulatory obligations to the Market Operator and other players within the electricity value chain.
‘The fact that customers are so comfortable consuming our supply and not paying remains a matter of concern to us as an enterprise, as this attitude negatively impacts on our overall performance. This situation informed the need for us to embark on the Cash Drive exercise, to enable us meet with these customers one-on-one to know why they are not paying their bills,’ he said.
Cash, he emphasised, ‘is key in running the operations of the company, as it enables it attend to the barrage of network challenges, as well as carry out some network expansion projects targeted at improved performance and service delivery.’
He said that the company on monthly basis import and distribute energy to its customers, but end up struggling to recover the revenue, thereby leaving the company with a rising debt profile.
According to him, ‘the fact remains that there has been steady and consistent improvement in the quality of services to our customers and it is expected that the impact of this improvement has to reflect in their bills at the end of the month.’
He, however, made it clear that if customers were not paying their bills as and when due, there was no way EEDC could continue sustaining its operations and providing quality services.
While advising customers who have issues with their electricity bills to take advantage of the established customer redress mechanism at the Customer Service Units, he said, ‘we are committed to serving our customers and appeal for their support in ensuring that they pay their bills promptly and avoid all forms of energy theft.’