In a bid to identify areas of need and service her customers better, the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has commenced an Asset and Customer Enumeration Project (ACE) that will gulp N5 billion over a two-year period.
The exercise, which involves the technical audit of the companyâ€™s customers and the data capturing existing and prospective customers, will also help to identify the developed, undeveloped and vacant property with the companyâ€™s franchise areas made up of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara and parts of Niger, Ekiti, and Kogi States.
Speaking on the programme, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IBEDC, Mr. John Donnachie said the company had acquired the services of Exernegia â€“ Geotechnics consortium to carry out the exercise.
He added that the enumerators would constitute indigenes from the local communities, who were trained efficiently for the exercise.
According to him, the project will help the company to enhance the efficiency of its distribution system â€œin terms of quality of power and increase revenue earnings by reducing our Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection (ATC & C) losses,â€ thus also assisting the power firm to understand the needs of the vast customer base.
â€œIt will help us to determine the size of our problems to prioritise our programmes. We will be able to distribute payment among customers instead of some customers paying for others. We need to see the full picture to have clarity of our problems; we need to know the number of meters we will require,â€ he said.
Explaining the delay in the take-off of the project, Donnachie said the exercise should have taken off immediately after privatisation but the cost and size of the project was beyond estimates.
â€œThis exercise has been on the table for two years because it is not just customer enumeration but also assets. So, we have to carry out recruitment because 250 people will work on the project everyday. It will take four to six weeks for the project to be completed in one business unit,â€ he added.
According to him, the ACE is the proper tracking and data collation of all the customers using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.
According to him, a pair of enumeration officers will carry out a field and door-to-door survey with smart hand-held devices to capture asset details and customer information.
Donnachie identified the benefits of the project to include improved accuracy of billing; improved quality of power and quicker fault response time; identification of obsolete and damaged equipment; better power distribution; reduced power interruptions; easy customer identification and improved service delivery.
â€œThe enumeration will help in investment decisions. We need to stop stealing electricity. Any illegal connections create problems for the entire community,â€ he added.