Ikeja Disco, Residents Seal Deal

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Peter Uzoho

The Ikeja Electric (IE) Plc and the Ikeja GRA Residents Association (IGRARA) have signed a willing-buyer, willing-seller premium power purchase agreement.

The initiative would see the GRA residents begin to enjoy a minimum of 20 hours daily power supply with effect from November 2019.
The deal signed in Lagos at the weekend, reposed the electricity distributor the obligation to provide the people of the GRA with a relatively stable power supply similar to that enjoyed by Magodo residents, in Lagos, while the GRA resident would also be bound to pay for such premium service.

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Electric, Dr. Anthony Youdeowei, said such deal would demonstrate to Nigerians and Lagos State that solving the nation’s electricity challenge was possible.
Youdeowei, added that the deal would also show that the disco has all it takes to provide stable power supply to its customers if the payment for service was right.

He stated that Ikeja Electric has all the infrastructure and competent manpower required to deliver on the agreement, assuring that the company would not fail their partners who believed in them.

Youdeowei said: “It was based on an approach by the Ikeja GRA Residents Association but what we decided to do at the time was to use Ikeja GRA to showcase to the country and to Lagos State that this sector can work if we have the right mix of customers who are willing to pay for the power they are consuming using the same infrastructure that exists from generation through transmission all the way through distribution.

“And like I said, it started in 2016 and a lot of water has passed under the bridge, and what has remained constant throughout all the ups and downs is the belief that this thing can work. It has not got as smoothly as we thought it could be but I’m really grateful to the Ikeja GRA Residents Association for having that belief that we can be where we want today.

“Of course, there was a slight deviation where we had to prove through another group of our customers and that helped because it showed the residents of GRA that Ikeja Eletric has all the competence and skills to do it. “For us, this is just the beginning of the journey because signing is one thing, being able to deliver and maintain the agreement that we are signing is what is important to us because that is our business –to supply the product.

“And it is not just providing extra mile or hours of power, it is a complete package. Because we deal with machines, every now and then, the members of the premium team will be called and it is how quickly we respond to the calls.
“But also more important is to ensure that there is regular maintenance so that we are actually reducing the occurrence of those faults by making sure that those machines are well maintained.”
He further said: “I want to give the residents that assurance that we are committed to this exercise. Where we are today in the power industry is good.

“We know that there is a lot of cynicism in the system, people are waiting to see what is happening.
“But again, the wonderful thing about this engagement is that we have a group of customers who are willing to trust and just believe that we should be given a chance to demonstrate that we have the capability.

“So as we marry these two together, we are sure that we will be able to deliver a service and at the end of the day we will have customers who are satisfied. The good news is that this partnership is demonstrating to the industry, to the regulator that we can actually make things work in this country”.
Commenting on the deal, the Chairman of IGRARA and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Muiz Banire, said: “It is a power purchase agreement between the residents of the GRA in Ikeja and the Ikeja Electric towards providing premium service for the residents.

“Our expectation is that we have light practically all round the day. At least we cannot certainly rule out some challenges occasionally, for example, transmission problem or some major technical issues. But, basically, we will have substantial provision of electricity for the residents”.

On her part, the Chief Operating Officer of Ikeja Electric, Mrs Folake Soetan, said, “the agreement is going to take effect from November 1, 2019. What we have agreed is that from November 1, 2019, we will give them a minimum of 20 hours of power on a daily basis. Sometimes they can get over 20 hours but our commitment to them is 20 hours minimum on a daily basis.”.