EKO Disco disconnects military formations over N6bn debt

The management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) Plc has informed that it was compelled to disconnect all military formations in its network due to non payment of over N6 billion debt.

Speaking with journalists recently, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, EKEDC, Mr Oladele Amoda, stated that the ministries and departmental agencies were owing a total of N18 billion, out of which the military formations within the zone accounted for N6 billion.

“We were forced to disconnect all military formations within our network due to over N6 billion debt. About N18 billion is being owed by various electricity customers within the network which posed serious setback to our operations. Power consumers are owing the 11 distribution companies over N90 billion,” he said.

He, however, hinted that the military formations have been reconnected after an agreement was reached on how debt settlement would commence.

He also condemned the increase in equipment vandalism within its operations, adding that it has forced the company to spend money meant for network expansion and other electricity development projects to be used to replace vandalised cables.

“Electricity materials such as cables and wires, among others, had either been stolen or vandalised with the recent one taking place in Apapa, Mushin, Ikoyi Ajegunle and Festac area of Lagos State. Equipment such as 300KVA and 500KVA were vandalised within our network.

“In the last four months, we have recorded increasing acts of vandalism of nine transformer substations. The vandals carted away eight metres of 150mm 2×4 core cable, cable sockets and ferrules. A yard of such cable costs N30,000. When they cut the cable in the middle because they cannot get the whole cable, we will have to replace the entire cable because such cables cannot be joined. We have raised the alarm over the increased rate of vandalism of our equipment in recent time, while we beefed up surveillance,” he said.

Furthermore, he stated “We are committed to meter all our customers by end of 2018 as contained in our performance agreement with the government. In fact, we recognised the fact that patronage of indigenous meter manufacturers will promote employment; that is why we have dedicated purchase of smart meters to indigenous meter manufacturers.

“They have been doing wonderfully well and we will continue to empower them. It is only the Maximum Demand (MD) meters that we are purchasing from a foreign company.

“We are committed to eradicating estimated billing because it is not profitable to us. We are ready to install 600,000 smart meters in next two years to ensure that our customers pay for what they actually consume.”

On the issue of tariff reversal, Amoda, stated that the singular act (order) will affect the power sector negatively. He said over 10,000 workers may be sacked, while investors will not just shy away from investing in the sector, international donors will also be discouraged from participating in the sector.

“On the court order on tariff reversal, we have appealed the court order for stay of execution. Meanwhile, that singular act will affect the power sector negatively. Investors will be discouraged from further investment in the sector, donor agencies may have a rethink.

“But the biggest one is that it may lead to job loss. More than 10,000 workers may lose their job if that judgement stands. The company cannot continue to run a business at a loss. If we are not making profit, at least we try to cover our cost.

“Another thing is that if we go to status quo as contained in the judgement, we will reintroduce fixed charges. Right now, the increase in tariff doesn’t cover our cost entirely. Many things have to be done by reinforcing our network which are dilapidated. With this judgement, banks may not offer us credit because they will realise we may not recover our cost,” he said.