Ikeja Electric (IE) Plc is reeking under the weight of N70.97 billion debt owed to the company by its customers, according to its Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
According to the electricity company CMO, Ugo Obi-Chukwu, tthe bulk of the debt are owed by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government.
Obi-Chukwu, who said this while hosting the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation on visit to the company in Lagos, noted that efforts were ongoing to ensure the repayment of the debt.
Obi-Chukwu also said other challenges being faced by the company included energy theft, difficulty in accessing foreign exchange to procure equipment, volatility of the naira and disruptions from the transmission network.
He, however, claimed that the company has installed prepaid meters for about 400,000 customers out of 1.1 million since 2013.
Obi-Chukwu noted that the number of metered customers under Ikeja Electric was the highest among all the 11 DisCos in the country.
He said the company was intensifying efforts to further bridge the metering gap.
He said IE had been making investments to upgrade its network in order to guarantee reliable and stable power supply to its customers.
Obi-Chukwu said the company in the past few years came up with innovative ideas that would ensure customer satisfaction for its commercial and residential customers.
He said the development led to the bi-lateral power optimisation being utilised by some areas in Lagos State such as Magado, Ogudu Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ikeja GRA, Gbagada Phase Two, among others.
He said the Service-Based Tariff used by the company in these locations was adopted by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in the new national tariff model.
Obi-Chukwu said Ikeja Electric had estimated a Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) that would strengthen its distribution network, improve revenue collection, reduce technical losses and efficient service delivery going forward.