The Chief Executive Officer, Ikeja Electric, Mr Anthony Youdeowei, on Tuesday, November 22, said that the company would still continue with the issue of estimated billing of electricity consumers. Youdeowei, at a press briefing in Lagos, said that with the present economic recession and its effect on the foreign exchange, the estimation billings would linger for sometime. He said that the company had metered 90 per cent of its transformers in the zone, which would make the estimation to be based only on the energy consumed from the transformer.
Youdeowei said that the company had reduced considerably the charges on consumers placed on estimation as more were connected to the company’s database. According to him, “At present, we are able to enumerate about 700,000 under our database, and I’m sure that we are still going to improve on it. “Nobody is perfect , consumers who have problems with their bills should report to our customers care office,” he said.
Youdeowei said that metering of consumers under the zone was not an easy task in view of the increase in foreign exchange. “The rules of the game have changed because of the challenges we are facing now. “The single phase meter that we are buying for N40, 000 is now more than N100, 000, and the money is not coming from consumers. “Presently, we have metered all trading points and most of the companies in the zone,” he said.
Youdeowei said that the company was facing financial challenges because the present tariff was not cost reflective. “Ikeja Electric is buying energy at N305 and selling to consumers within its zone at N199 per kilowatt. “It is a tough business environment to buy into, we cannot dictate the price, because we are being regulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),” he said.
The Ikeja Electric chief urged consumers within the zone to report any suspected energy theft and extortion by their workers to the head office for proper action.