Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (Disco) has said the new mass metering scheme for electricity consumers it launched recently would help reduce its Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses to 17 per cent within three years.
The Disco also explained that its investment of $150 million to procure and deploy about 300,000 meters for enumerated customers under its distribution network would help it achieve the ATC&C loses reduction target.
It also said that under the metering scheme, it would utilise the capacity of local meter manufacturing outfits in the country, and that this would be the case unless the capacities of the local manufacturers were exhausted.
The board chairman of Abuja Disco, Amb. Shehu Malami stated this at the launch of the scheme by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello at the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL) Estate in Apo District.
“As a company, this project will cost us 150 million United States dollars and it will span three years, covering a customer population of over 300,000.
“It is expected that on completion, the ATC&C losses would have been reduced by about 17 per cent and this will make energy audit and accountability a lot easier for us,” said Malami.
He explained that the Disco currently has an ATC&C loss figure of 40 per cent, adding that it was different from over 50 per cent that its current owner inherited from the government when it took over the Disco on November 1, 2013.
Malami also stated that the scheme would improve the Disco’s revenue generation profile, and enable it source for investment funds from sources across board.
According to him: “A consequential outcome of the above is that the revenue profile of our company will improve and that will enable us have greater access to more investable funds both from our internally generated revenue (IGR) and third party sources who are currently very reluctant to increase their exposure to the power sector because of a poor balance sheet.”
Though still being verified for accuracy, Malami commended the FCT administration for paying the Disco N500 million as part of electricity debt owed it over a long period.
He also said the decision of the Federal Government to deduct the electricity bills of its ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) from source starting from 2017 was commendable. This, he noted would keep the finances of the sector healthy.
“From the records, the Minister (Bello) ordered and saw to the payment of N500 million between August and September this year. That is a rare feat that we are proud of and which we urge other MDAs to emulate.
“Let me use the opportunity of this programme to further express the gratitude of AEDC as a company on the bold and lifesaving move of Mr. President through that budgetary provision, and to also call on the NASS (National Assembly) to expedite action on the budget as its content is a live wire for the power sector in Nigeria.
“We are also optimistic that once the budget is passed into law, funds will be released by the appropriate agency of government on a deduction from source basis. It should be a first line charge,” Malami explained.