From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) says it has attracted $400 million investment from Trans Sahara Consortium in a bid to ensure the commencement of its Smart Metering Programme.
This was made known in Ibadan last week by the Chairman of IBEDC, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Trans Sahara Consortium led by Senator Saminu Turaki.
Turaki stated that the investment would at the long run create over 250,000 jobs, though the IBEDC currently has about 3,000 staff. He added that the job creation would be sustainable in line with the initiative of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to create two million jobs.
“I am happy to partner with Trans Sahara Consortium led by Senator Saminu Turaki, who are bringing in technology in partnership with us to install Smart Meters within our distribution coverage areas.
“The MoU we signed will attract an investment of $400 million to cover both the metering plan and also infrastructure upgrade within our distribution area. It is the first phase of the investment drive that we have signed with Trans Sahara Consortium.
Beyond signing of this MoU, they will immediately go into action. We have designated an area within our coverage zone that will be used as a test sampling so that we can see how the technology works,” he said.
“The technology has been installed in over 32 countries around the world. It is not a new technology, but it is technology that is just coming into Nigeria. Our hands are open to embrace it so that the mistrust and distrust between Discos and consumers can be a thing of the past. We can monitor your consumption.
“It is a full system in the sense that it is a self-auditing system that takes control out of the hands of human into machine. You will be sure of what you consume and beyond what you consume, the system will shut down. You cannot bypass the meter. It is a full proof system; once you touch it, it shuts down your system. We will ensure strict monitoring and control to ensure that the system is worth the investment.
“You cannot steal power any longer. Nigerians should wake up to the reality of whether they are ready to pay for what they consume or those who don’t pay will have no electricity.
“The system of using people, who paid to cover for a larger people who don’t pay is gone. This industry requires huge investments and it is the consumers that fund the value chain.”