EKEDC expresses concern over cash flow challenges in power sector


Dr Tinuade Sanda, Chief Executive Officer, Eko Electricity Distribution (EKEDC), says cashflow is a major constraint affecting the distribution companies (DisCos) in Nigeria from discharging their market obligations.

Sanda, who made this known during the company’s quarterly customer engagement forum on Thursday in Lagos, said infrastructure upgrade was another challenge.

The forum was held at Festac District Town Hall, which  comprises of Festac town, Satellite Town and Agboju Community.

Sanda, who was represented by Mr Joseph Esenwa, Chief Financial Officer, EKEDC, urged customers to ensure that their bills were paid promptly to reduce the financial burden on the DisCos.

She said that the essence of the town hall meeting was to primarily relates with the customer on what could be done to smoothen operations over a period of time.

“We have heard from our customers regarding what has been achieved and what needed to be done to improve service to them.

“We are here to conveniently come up with solutions on how to improve our services,” she said.

Sanda said that when customers paid promptly, that would enable DisCos to finance procurement of transformers and other distribution infrastructure.

This, she noted, were required to improve supply and also settle the wages of the company’s engineers.

Sanda said, “We have been taking loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in billion to upgrade our infrastructure in different areas.

“This is not anywhere what is needed to cater for infrastructure of over 700,000 customers under our network.

“For instance, we have just taken N4 billion from CBN to provide prepaid meters for over 70,000 out of around 200,000 unmetered customers.

“Our record showed that we have a customer base of 640,000 metered and unmetered customers.

“How much can I borrow to cater for the balance of about 130,000 unmetered customers?”

Sanda, therefore, encouraged the customers to help EKEDC to address funding issues.

“It’s painful that the power needs of all customers cannot be delivered because of cash flow issues and funding challenges,” she added.

On overbilling, Sanda noted that the only solution to addressing the challenge was for customers to get prepaid meters.

According to her, transformers  in different locations are metered to account for the quantum of energy delivered to those locations.

On availability of prepaid meters, Sanda said that the prepaid meters were available under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme and would be installed in less than 10 days.

The EKEDC boss said that tariff had increased progressively over a period of time, which reflects in the amount that customers pay..

On his part, Mr Shola Fakorede, President, Festac EKEDC Customers’ Committee, commended EKEDC’s prompt responses to faults and customer service.

Fakorede, who admitted challenges with EKEDC’s network within the Festac district, said that the problems confronting electricity customers were enormous.

He said, however, the meeting created an avenue for peaceful discussion and how they could be addressed.

He commended the firm for the recent improvement of power supply and turnaround time to clear faults.