Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Labour plunges Lagos into darkness, shuts Ikeja Electric facilities


Electricity consumers in Lagos axis may need to prepare for another round of blackout, as aggrieved workers resumed picketing of Ikeja Electric Distribution Company (IEDC) in Alausa, shutting down all power installations belonging to the power firm.

The company has, however, condemned the exercise, warning that consumers living within its network could experience long periods of darkness if the disruptive protests persist.

The company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue, said: “The poor supply of power currently being experienced by customers on its network is as a result of the inability of the company’s technical personnel to access Business Units, undertaking offices and sub stations following the barricading of entrances and exits of all operational locations within the IEDC network.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), yesterday, unveiled a report which highlighted how the nation’s distribution companies rip off customers by not providing them meters.

The report notes that 2.9 million households were yet to be metered by the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos).

According to Ofulue, the unions, parading as Citizens Access to Electricity Initiatives (CATEIN), and working in collaboration with the civil society groups, delivered a 15-point demand list at the corporate headquarters of Ikeja Electric.

At a meeting with the discos to evaluate their performance on the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI), in Abuja, facts emerged that there are 6.159 million customers’ accounts as at December 2015 with 3.206 million metered. The other 2.953 million customers have remained unmetered.

Abuja, Jos, Kaduna, Kano and Yola claimed to have 1.973 million customer base; Port Harcourt, Benin and Enugu Discos have 1,863,708 customers. Eko, Ikeja and Ibadan Discos have 2,322,376 customer accounts.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah spoke of plans to conclude the CAPMI metering scheme and urged the discos to key in.

NERC also chided Ikeja and Kano Discos’ report indicating that none of its 1.057 million customers was willing to pay for meters.

In another development, managing Director of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED), Alhaji Mohammed Gidado Modibo, has said that the company would continue to put the welfare of staff as top priority.

Source: The Guardian

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