By Emmanuel Acha
A Director in the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Dr Steven Dike says that only nine per cent of energy generated in the country is allocated to the South East zone.
Dike, a board member of the company told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Thursday, that the amount was inadequate.
The director said that the volume of energy sourced by distribution companies was the only way to serve customers in a more efficient way.
He, however, said that the company was striving hard to serve its customers better even in the face of the shortcoming.
Dike said that as the power network was not designed for optimisation, the company tries to juggle power between industrial and residential areas within the zone.
The director explained that the prevailing circumstance had resulted to giving power to industrial areas in the day time, while residential areas were powered in the evening hours.
“We are doing load-shedding to make sure that everybody is happy. We shut out some people in order to serve other areas and vice versa,” he said.
Dike said that customers needed to understand the dynamics of power distribution business, adding that the company would only give out what it got from transmission companies.
“People do not understand the issues in power generation, transmission and distribution and that the volume of light you get is the only way to succeed.
“Our business is to sell light and we cannot give out more than the volume allocated to us,” he said.
Dike said that in spite of the inadequate volume of energy allocated to it, the company was also battling with energy theft by customers.
He said that the amount of energy lost in the zone was incredible, adding that it was well over 50 per cent in 2013 when they took over the company.
“We inherited a culture of corruption and because of the level of loss; we import over N4 billion worth of energy per month.
“When we took over in Nov. 13, 2013, government knew that the system was broken down.
“The contract was won on our ability to fix the system not on the highest bidder,” he said.
Dike said that with the wage bill of the company at N500 million, the EEDC lost N2 billion every month due to corrupt practices.
He said that the company had to grapple with incidences where customers aid and abet some unscrupulous members of staff in defrauding the company.
Dike expressed the hope that the EEDC would overcome its initial challenges by serving the people best and appealed to customers to do the right thing by paying their bills.