By Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Following challenges of electricity theft and associated loss of revenue, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (Disco) has acquired and installed an Integrated Commercial Management System (InCMS) worth €2.4 million to check repeated theft of electricity by consumers within its network coverage.
Besides reducing losses to electricity theft, the automated system according to the Disco was equally expected to improve the service experience of its consumers.
It was recently unveiled by the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh, at a ceremony in Abuja.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director of Abuja Disco, Mr. Ernest Mupwaya, explained that with the new system, the Disco can now check instances of power theft by remote monitoring of various electricity consumption related activities of customers across its network.
Mupwaya, equally stated that the system would ensure that complaints lodged by customers are swiftly resolved, to amongst other objectives improve their service experience.
“The cost of this is roughly two million euros, but I think even if it sounds expensive, the value which will be derived from it is much more than that.
“It is an intelligent system, which you can use to do energy balance. You would have known at a transformer level how much energy came out and how much was sold to the customers and where the gap is coming from,” Mupwaya said.
According to him: “It will provide visibility in all customer activities that we can enforce compliance in terms of meeting targets, the quality of work and that the processes are respected. For customers, it will help to ensure that their complaints are resolved in a shorter time.”
While delivering his remarks at the commissioning of the system, Momoh, said the NERC was looking forward to having other Discos adopt and procure such automated processes in their service delivery to electricity users in their networks.
He said: “We as regulators are happy to see that one of us is already leading the pack and I am sure that the other 10 Discos will join to make sure an automated system is available.
“It will able to provide information in terms of metering problems, excess charges and provide solutions to why there is no power so they can provide quick fixes.”
Momoh, also said the system would improve the quality of service in terms of the energy use as well as reduce losses incurred by the Discos in their businesses, adding, “I believe it will also provide for us the opportunity of efficient energy usage.”
Also, Mupwaya’s Strategic and Technical Advisor, Dr. George Nguni, in a presentation about the system said the system had been in use by the Disco since December 2018 on a pilot phase. He added that it was however deployed to the entire franchise area of the Disco comprising Kogi, Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger state in the first week of February 2019.
He noted that 47 staff of the Disco were trained on the use of the system, adding that they were training other staff across the business units on its use.