Operators in the power sector have faced enormous challenges in the last three years when the new owners took over the operation in the sector as the expected infrastructure that should be in place was not there at take-off time. This impeded their ability to rapidly transform the sector as envisaged by Nigerians.
The Managing Director of Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Engr Oladele Amoda made this known in a recent in Lagos.
“The challenges in the power sector are multifaceted, if you look at the whole thing, it impeded our ability to rapidly transform the sector as envisaged by Nigerians. One of the major challenges is accessing funds, another challenge is unavailability of gas for the Generating stations due to militancy in the Niger Delta. Another one is vandalism of power sector equipment and meter bypass followed by debts owed by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” he said.
He however noted that the sector has gone through transformation in the last three years as they have recorded milestone achievement. The government is looking at the problem and proffering lasting solutions. Amoda revealed that the current Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babaunde Raji Fashola has been very supportive as he formed stakeholders meeting which brings all the stakeholders in the power sector together on a rotational basis every month. “We come together and look at issues affecting all the components of the power value chain”.
“We access loans to do a lot of things, to improve some of our injection sub-station, we bought transformers, meters, and we are modernizing our network, we want to automate our network. We are introducing technology to bring about efficiency in our activities. Government is concerned and transforming the power sector is its top must priority. When the sector is transformed, businesses will thrive and money will flow into the pockets of the populace and life will become more meaningful and unemployment will start reducing. Robbery will reduce because when people are usefully engaged, they will not take to crime,” the MD revealed.
The Eko Disco boss maintained that they have done their bit with the available fund, “for instance in Eko Disco, we procured several transformers, as at the last count, we have purchased close to 500 transformers since the privatization. We have reconstructed lines, rehabilitated lines, improved our network, added injection substation, we have done a lot. We have also improved our customer relationship. We interact with customers more now. We visit their locations to interact with them and we let them know our challenges, our plans and what we have done. We also get feedback from customers on peculiar problem within their locality. This helps us a lot in terms of building confidence and trust on the part of our customers. So the usual friction between the company and customers is decreasing rapidly as they are beginning to understand the problems in the sector,” Amoda stated.