Exclusive interview with Engr Oladele Amoda, CEO of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, and panelist at the upcoming discussion at WAPIC on “The Good, the Bad & the Future: Voices from the Power Sector”.
What current project(s) at Eko Electricity Distribution Company are you most excited about at the moment?
The most exciting current projects at EKEDC are SCADA/DMS and smart metering projects. The contracts for the two projects were recently awarded and when completed, will enhance the company’s opportunity to automate the monitoring and operations of the distribution network and metering facilities real time.
We are equally embarking on GIS and Customer Enumeration projects, which entail asset mapping, customer capture and identification, these will be integrated with AMR/AMI Smart Metering and SCADA System.
What has been the most surprising development about the Nigerian utility privatisation process so far?
The most surprising about the privatisation process of the Nigeria utility was the tremendous interest shown by the investors despite the dilapidated state of the power infrastructure.
The successful wholesale privatisation and smooth transfer of all GENCO and DISCO assets in the most transparent manner with seamless integration of select legacy staff from public service to the private sector.
What have been the most challenging aspects?
The challenges are many, most of which were inherited as listed;
- Inadequate power from the grid. This was a legacy problem, which persisted after privatisation attributable to inadequate power generation due to inadequate fossil fuel (gas) and low water level at the hydro power stations. Others are lingering transmission bottlenecks which have not been attended to due to lack of fund .
- Poor customer metering with less than 50% of customers not having functional meters or no meters at all rampant meter bypass by those metered.
- Customers’ apathy to payment because of estimated billing and most of them still regard electricity supply as social benefit, which must be enjoyed free of charge.
- A non reflective tariff and unfavorable regulatory environment that exposes the infant companies to unnecessary liquidity problem, which militate against further investment on network and metering infrastructure.
What is your vision for the industry?
My vision for the industry is to have a situation whereby electricity will be delivered safely, consistently and in the right quality to all customers who will happily pay for electricity consumed.
What should be the role of government in a privatised power industry?
Federal and State Governments should provide enabling environment for the power industry to stabilised and grow. Tax incentives, waivers and other necessary support should be offered by government to the investors so as to make electricity tariff affordable to the customers.
You are part of what is expected to be a very dynamic panel at WAPIC, giving a perspective from the private sector about doing business in this sector. What will be your message at the event?
The power sector in Nigeria is fast developing. The initial challenges are being surmounted and the investment opportunities are vast. There are ready investment opportunities in metering, electricity vending, energy card services, electricity retailing, embedded generation, and transmission infrastructures.
There are other potential investment opportunities in renewable energy derivable from large deposit of coal, ever shinning sun for solar power, and unhindered stream of wind for wind turbine and lots of generated waste (biomass) for power generation.
How important is WAPIC on the region’s power calendar?
WAPIC as an annual event consistently offers the opportunity for sub-regional players and stakeholders in the industry to share views and experiences in the development of the power sector. Exposure to cocktail of ideas and shared information amongst participants will result in breakthroughs in the sub-region power sector.
What are you most looking forward to at the event?
Looking forward to sharing practical experiences with industry players and stakeholders from developed and emerging electricity markets in the area of new technology, inventions and new processes that will improve the power sector activities.