Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

The Senate is working toward harmonising all the regulations on electricity theft and tampering, which are scattered in several other regulations, into a single bill.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, made this known on Tuesday during the committee’s oversight visit to the Ikeja Electric in Lagos.

According to Abaribe, what we are doing is to bring them together and make it a separate bill so that every Nigerian will know there is penalty for infractions.

He said: “We hope that once we do all these, some of the issues will resolved.”

The chairman said that the committee had made presentation to the government to take decisions on the gray areas.

Abaribe said: “This is whether to fill the gap in terms of providing subsidy or shift it to the DisCo or shift the tariff to that level.

“It is a decision and a political decision that will be taken by government, not Distribution Companies.

“Government have to come to a realisation or to decide how this type of social intervention will be done.

“We want to see all DisCos move from loss to profit situation. It can only happen if something is done about the gray areas.

“Let us say, we are in a system that is in transition and we will get there one day. I do not believe that it was a mistake to have privatised power.”

Receiving the committee, Dr Anthony Youdeowei, the Chief Executive Officer of IE, said that the company had recorded significant improvement in reducing Aggregate, Technical, Commercial and Collection loss from over 40 per cent to less than 25 per cent.

Youdeowei said that IE had better engagement with the communities and customers, adoption of cutting-edge technology to operations, improvement in customers services and reduction in downtime.

He listed some of the challenges confronting the IE as apathy of some customers to payment, vandalism of installations, energy theft and huge debt owed to industry regulators.

Youdeowei said in spite of the challenges, the company had invested N53 billion on the network, adding that N20 billion of the money went for metering.

He reassured stakeholders that the company remains committed to delivering value by improving on electricity supply and services, gradual closing of metering gap and prompt response to faults.

Youdeowei said that the expectations of customers and stakeholders were high and that the company was earnestly doing its best to meet and surpass the expectations.

He said: “As operators of the business, we are not satisfied with where we are today, because the customers are unhappy.

“But what is clear is that we know where we are and where we are going is clear.

“We are committed to offering improved services. Yes there are challenges within our control and some are outside our control.

“But, we recognise the fact that there are communities out there waiting for us to deliver.

“We have responsibilities toward them. We have made significant progress, but some of them might not be evident to the public.

“The only key thing is transparency. There is absolutely nothing for Ikeja Electric to hide; it is in our interest to meter our customers, not only about power distribution or transformer.”

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