Following the outcry over wrong billing system of electricity consumption in Nigeria, Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) said it has invested over N210 million in Information Communication Technology (ICT) to curb inefficiency in the billing system.
Speaking when a team from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), visited the company in continuation of its post-privatisation monitoring activities of the newly-privatised PHCN successor companies, the Executive Director, Operations Support of the company, Mr Umar Bello, said that from the consumer enumeration carried out during the exercise, it was discovered that Jos distribution company had about 400, 000 customers as against the 274, 000 initially indicated during the privatisation process.
According to him, as a result of the findings from the audit, the company has realised that there is need to invest more in IT infrastructure — meters and billing platforms — hence it has invested N210 million to address the challenges and curb inefficiencies in billing. He added that transformer energy analyzers would be procured in order to determine and curb energy losses, while also improving efficiency in distribution of electricity.
The Executive Director added that the new investors would install about 70, 000 meters by the end of the year, disclosing that several call and service centres had been established as steps to improve service delivery.
Disclosing some of the company’s future plans, Bello revealed that it has initiated plans to explore embedded generation in each of the states within the Distribution Company (DISCO) coverage. Jos Disco, he noted, covers four states which include, Plateau, Gombe, Bauchi and Benue. He said that the energy supply that JEDC currently sells is between 5MW and 20MW, which is far below the supply needs of 300 MW. The ED also stated that JEDC intends to explore hydro-based electricity plants in Gombe State and gas-driven electricity plants in Yankari, Bauchi State to improve electricity supply within its areas.
In his response, the Deputy Director, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Chukwuma Nwokoh, who represented the DG, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, implored the new owners of JEDC to ensure full implementation of the post-acquisition plan it submitted to the bureau. He also advised that following the findings from the audit exercise, a revised post-acquisition plan be forwarded to the bureau.