By Freda Okhiria, Abuja
Omotosho Electric Energy Company Limited, Ondo State has been commended for its feat in utilizing its eight turbines to generate electricity at its full 304 megawatts capacity despite daunting challenges in the power sector and the national economy. The challenge now is for the company to sustain its achievement before investing in a project to increase its generating capacity, according to Dr. Vincent Akpotaire, the Ag. Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
Speaking at Omotosho during a post-privatisation monitoring and evaluation trip by a BPE team, Mr. Akpotaire also lauded the company for increasing its staff strength from 150 pre-privatisation to 176 now.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the Enterprise Head of Public Communication, Alex Okoh where the Acting DG Represented by Mr. Razaq Adedigba, Deputy Director in BPE, urged the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the power distribution companies to improve their performance to avoid regular directive to the generating companies especially Omotosho Genco to reduce production below their generating capacities because of their inability to take up the generated power.
The BPE also hoped that with the efforts by the Federal Government to reach a truce with Niger Delta stakeholders, the disruption of gas supply to the generation companies will end to enable Omotosho and other plants sustain their production.
The Managing Director of Omotosho Electric Energy Company Limited, Mr. Samuel Kuti Itsekiri told the BPE team that for Nigeria to achieve a reliable, efficient and steady power supply, all the regulatory agencies in the power sector must do their jobs effectively.
Mr. Itsekiri said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), for instance, should ensure that the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) invest adequately to get the right technology to improve their power distribution and revenue collection as well as forestall power stealing or meter by-pass. In this way, the discos will be able to pay for the power supplied to them by the generation companies.
He advised the DISCOs to seek other investors to raise funds to enable them improve their services.
The MD commended the initiative of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola to hold periodic meetings of all actors in the power sector to discuss issues and solutions. He however noted that the decisions reached at the meetings were never implemented strictly by all the stakeholders.
Mr. Itsekiri informed the BPE team that since take over in 2014, the new owners have injected funds into the company which had seen the plant operating its eight turbines at 100 percent capacity with occasional drop whenever there was no gas supply to the company.
Itsekiri said although the Company plans further investments this would be achievable only if there “is stability in gas supply and a halt in pipeline vandalism and improvement in payment for power supplied”.
Despite its achievements, the MD said the greatest challenge of the company is paying for gas as its monthly gas bills exceeds its monthly receipts for power supplied to the national grid.
The MD said since privatization, the company has employed 176 staff workers made up of 150 Nigerians and 26 expatriates. He said the rise in employment was necessitated by progressive increase in power generation arising from the utilization of the eight turbines rather than the two prior to privatisation.
He said as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), it had executed the following:
- Employment of over 80 indigenes in various capacities
- Building and equipping of a community Health Centre
- Building of a mini stadium/sponsorship of annual school inter-house sport; and
- Construction of six bore holes for the community among others.
The BPE team which was taken round the offices and plants, commended the clean environment which is conducive for day-to-day business.