By Obas Esiedesa
The Minister of State Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba has dismissed speculations that the Federal Government plans to reverse the power sector privatization, saying there is no plan to dismantle the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).
Agba told journalists shortly after an inspection visit to the headquarters of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) on Thursday in Abuja, that Federal Government is looking at strengthening the capacity of the DisCos to deliver power to consumers.
According to him, “This DisCo is doing very well and I think a little more effort will make them world class.
“I don’t think anybody is thinking of dismantling DisCos. We are thinking of revamping the DisCos to make them better not to dismantle them”.
He stressed that government wants the DisCos to improve on metering the consumers because metering and revenue collection go hand in hand.
“If I don’t have appropriate metering, I won’t pay my bills appropriately. I will argue with you on bills because you either under bill me or over bill me. The man is a business man and if he invests his more and gives me power, I need to pay for it for him to invest more”.
He said government is working on the 35 percent duty on imported electricity meters which the DisCo raised as a major challenge to providing meters at affordable costs.
The Minister who expressed satisfaction at the facility put in place by the utility especially its complaints resolution system, urged other DisCos in the country to copy AEDC’s model of business, saying others are doing well but could do better.
Also speaking to journalists, the Managing Director/CEO of AEDC, Engr Ernest Mupwaya said the utility metering capacity has improved to about 3,000 installations per day.
He explained that all large consumers in its franchise areas have been metered.
According to him, “From the time we took over there have been various metering initiatives. The first initiative was to meter the large customers who are about 4,000. All of them are metered.
“Then we latched on CAPMI. From CAPMI and our own initiative, we have metered 160,000 but lately we have installed another 100,000 from MAP scheme. We have a capability of installing 3,000 meters per day but we have been constrained because thousands of meters are stocked at the port because of the issue of import duty.
“But I am glad because we have the information that the government is working to resolve this issue so that they can become available. When they are available, we are going to ramp up metering so that we can achieve the objective of transformation. A customer who is metered has high willingness to pay”, he added.