By Sebastine Obasi
THE Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) said it has attracted $400 million investment from Trans Sahara Consortium to fund its planned installation of smart metering programme, infrastructure upgrade within the distribution area of the company, and put a stop to energy theft which is a huge revenue drain in the sector.
Speaking during the signing of the memorandum of understanding, MoU, the Chairman of IBEDC, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, said that the agreement will lead to an enormous improvement of the billing process as it would become more efficient, just as the gains from the investment are huge for IBEDC and ultimately the customers.
The new metering system is expected to eliminate mistrust and distrust between IBEDC and consumers.
Ayeni stated: “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 distribution area that will be used as a test sampling so that we can see how the technology works and we can see that it can work within our system.”
Also speaking, the leader of Trans Saharan Consortium, Saminu Turaki stated that the investment would at the long run create over 250,000 jobs, though the IBEDC currently have about 3,000 staff. He added that the job creation would be sustainable as “it is in line with the initiative of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to create two million jobs.”