Managers of the six business units of the Ikeja Electric Company (IE) have commended the Federal Government of Nigeria over the privatization programme in the power sector, saying it had brought in massive infrastructural upgrades, congenial work environment, improved staff welfare and prompt service delivery to customers among other positive changes.
They expressed these views when the a team from the Post Privatization Department of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, undertook the monitoring of power companies in the Lagos axis of the country.
According to a statement by Alex E. Okoh, BPE spokesperson, the Manager for the Ikeja Business Unit, Mr. Christopher Lawal while briefing the BPE team, led by a Deputy Director in the Bureau’s PPM Department, Mr. Ignatius Ayewoh, said because of the benefits of privatization, leakages have been blocked and the Unit generates N1.1bn monthly compared to the N400,000 in the pre-privatization period.
He said two multi-national companies in the area – Cadbury and Coca-Cola since inception, have been generating their power but with the privatization, plans have reached advanced stage to hook them back on the IE’s power network.
Lawal said the Unit has 28 injection stations and supplies its customers with 80-100 megawatts of electricity though the required demand is 376 megawatts.”We plan to up the current supply to 250 megawatts”, he added.
The Manager informed the team that the Unit has blazed the trail in metering as 1,200 meters have been installed for customers and that Guinness/Harp is its highest paid customer which rakes in between N26-N27million monthly.
At the Oshodi Business Unit, its Manager, Mr. Sunday Oyewale said the Unit collects N1.211bn monthly, compared to N602 million in the pre-privatization period.
He said because of the improvement in services, 134,000 customers were now on its network compared to 128,000 in the pre-privatization period.The Manager expressed optimism that the figure will soar after the metering of customers.
According to him, following privatization, customers have begun to follow the rules while the older ones are being re-oriented .He added that for a seamless service delivery to the customers, one marketer was assigned to 900 customers as against the previous arrangement of one marketer to 1,500.
On the complaints of non-provision of meters to customers who purport to have paid for them, the Manager said none of such customers had been able to provide documentary evidence that they paid for the meters.”The truth of the matter is that these people feel since PHCN has been privatized, there are no records and so they come up with this claim which none has been able to substantiate”.
The Business Managers for Shomolu, Akowonjo, Ikorodu and Abule-Egba, Messers Taofik Basanya,Lateef Olaleye,Mohammed Abdullahi and Lawrence Okoye , respectively, spoke in unison that the privatization of the sector has not only improved the working conditions of staff but also brought about enhanced service delivery and revenue collection.
The Managers, who were staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) before their employment by the IE, blamed the resistance of the former staff of the public entity to privatization on non- education of the benefits of privatization.
The BPE team leader, Mr. Ignatius Ayewoh commended the strides recorded by the Business Units since privatization. He said the Director-General of BPE, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki was keen on seeing that owners of the new power companies fulfilled the covenants they signed with the government hence he directed for the constant monitoring of the companies.