He attributed the poor electricity distribution to shortage of supply from the electricity generation companies.
About 567 former workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, have been re-absorbed by the Ikeja electricity distribution company, IKDC.
The re-absorbed workers would complement the 2,070 the company inherited from the PHCN, the Managing Director, Abiodun Aifwobaje, has said.
Mr. Aifwobaje was speaking when members of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, led by its Chairman, Olugbenga Obadara, visited the company in continuation of their oversight visit to the PHCN successor companies in the Lagos and Ibadan zones.
He told the lawmakers that the company was committed to becoming a leading utility business in the country by providing safe, reliable, and quality service to customers at fair and reasonable costs.
To achieve this, he said, the new owners had taken some initiatives to reposition the company, including training and retraining of staff, repair or replacement of malfunctioning transformers, and completion of abandoned distribution projects, among others.
On the challenges facing the company, he told the committee that IKDC has an installed capacity of 1,684MW, but was able to distribute only 421MW to customers as against the maximum demand of 938MW.
He attributed the poor electricity distribution to shortage of supply from the electricity generation companies, GENCOs; power theft; and vandalism of power installations.
At the Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, the Managing Director, Oladele Amuda, told the committee that the company was committed to ensuring uninterrupted and sustainable power supply to its customers.
Mr. Amuda said the company plans to invest about N45 billion in the next five years, while $150 million would be spent immediately on capital projects to meet customers’ needs, network rehabilitation and reinforcement.
He, however, complained of poor power supply from the National Grid, power theft, illegal connections and vandalism of power installations as some of the challenges they were facing.
He appealed to the committee to intervene so that generation companies could supply adequate power to the distribution companies for adequate distribution of power to consumers and for increased financial returns.
At the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, the Chief Executive Officer, Atoy Leynes, expressed the readiness of the firm to meet consumers’ needs as long as the generation companies keep up with their demand.
He listed the challenges facing IBEDC to include poor asset performance due to age, poor transmission infrastructure, and the absence of land to put up its headquarters.
Mr. Leynes said that for the distribution companies to become financially viable to undertake aggressive investments in the power industry, there should be a tariff structure that is cost reflective. He also called for the review of asset classification (core/non-core) of DISCOs as some asset classified as non-core was essential to the distribution network.
Mr. Obadara assured the distribution companies that his committee would do everything within its powers to find a lasting solution to shortage of power supply from the National Grid.
On power theft and vandalism, Mr. Obadara advised the distribution companies to liaise with security agencies to set up a Task Force to checkmate the criminal acts.
The Committee members also visited Egbin Power Station where Mr. Obadara noted that “everything concerning power supply starts from generation. If generation is not adequate, it directly affects distribution and the consumers on the whole.”
He therefore called on the management to strive to achieve sufficient power generation and to actualize the dream of privatisation.