By Prince okafor
…We agreed on N47/KWh – Chairman MRA
Ikeja Electric has dismissed insinuations that it increased electricity tariff to prepaid meters residents in Magodo Estate, without any prior agreement.
The DISCO’s reaction came against the backdrop of claims by some fraction of Magodo residents, allegedly that IKEDC increased electricity tariff from N22 to N50 per kilowatt-hour, KWh, without providing adequate power supply to them.
The prepaid meters Residents in Magodo cried out on the sudden alleged increase of tariff from 22-50naira, saying there was no stable power supply, government regulation and any prior agreement by individual residence to warrant that.
However, the management of IKEDC, in a statement made available to Vanguard stated that the report maliciously termed the agreement as a fraud even as neither IE nor members of the MRA were consulted by the media platform to get the right representation of the story.
According to the company’s head, corporate communication, Felix Ofulue, “Our attention has been drawn to a negative publication in the media regarding the power supply agreement between and Ikeja Electric (IE) and Magodo Residents Association (MRA).
“Ikeja Electric and the Magodo Resident Association recently signed a Power Purchase Agreement under the Willing Buyer, Willing Seller initiative issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). We will like to state categorically that due process was followed in accordance with the constitution of the Association, a legal entity registered under the law, in executing this contract.
“The discussion commenced in December 2018 and we are aware that several meetings and presentations were held to address this subject during the MRA open house meeting. “Within this period, the Association further engaged the services of power consultants to conduct due diligence on the Power proposal by IE and after several sessions to vigorously interrogate and review the proposition, the contract was finally approved and executed by MRA Board of Trustees.
“The contract entails that IE will invest in electricity infrastructure in the Estate as well as provide reliable and quality electricity supply to the residents, while the customers agree to pay a tariff that is cost-reflective, in line with the Willing Buyer Willing Seller initiative.
“So far, we are pleased to state that since the implementation of the Agreement on August 15, 2019, residents of the estate have been on 24 hour supply. We have also received positive feedback from residents of the estate through our various feedback channels.
“It suffices to add that the negative narrative currently being syndicated in online media is the handiwork of aggrieved alternative power sellers for selfish business interests. Ikeja Electric is committed to delivering steady and quality power supply to its customers and will not be deterred by opportunists looking to profit from the epileptic power supply.”
Also read: Residents task IE on adequate power supply
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Chairman, MRA, Mr Jade Niboro, “Magodo GRA phase two is a residential area of over 6000 residents. The estate has 21 zones and each zone is represented by a coordinator called the zonal coordinator. We have the executive that oversees the entire estate, they are 18 in numbers. We also have the board of trustees, comprising of nine members.
“We thought of a way forward to address the epileptic power in our estate. We weigh series of option to address these challenges, in fact, we went as far as almost engaging Carlbury Independent Power Producer, IPP, more like a tripartite with IE, about four years ago, but it did not work out.
“With the serene ambient, security and good road network, it was observed that electricity was lacking. We then conclude to meet with IE to see if they can upgrade our level of supply, in December 2018.
“In January, we met with the first team from IE, and I concluded that we have a test run of this development if it can work in our estate, and they gave us uninterrupted supply for one month, from January 20 to February 21, after which we went back to the usual supply of eight to twelve hours a day.
“After this, there was a series of engagement and we ask the IE team to conduct a presentation to the estate team. The presentation started from the executive to the Central Working Committee, CWC, and then to the General house.
“After the presentation, the general house agreed for us to continue with the negotiation, and give us feedback. We set up a technical committee made up of ten professionals. We also have some independent persons who also did their findings on the outcome of the negotiation. We signed the agreement on the 9th of August, 2019.
“On tariff, our committee did their research up from TCN to NERC, which we agreed at our general meeting in April, that we will pay N47 per KWh. The PPA went through a rigorous process, as there were many front and back movement with several clauses added and removed, we almost cancelled the agreement, but we finally came back to the table.
“The development is tremendous. Since 15th of August, 2019 till date, we have an uninterrupted supply. I have been long in this estate as an executive member before I rose to this position; I have never witnessed any arrangement of the sort. The only arrangement as regards to power which I know about is the street light, which is been provided by the Lagos State Government with the generator. There have never any arrangement with any zone on the power supply.
“This arrangement was not forced on anyone, it was a collective agreement with the entire resident in the estate, although, at first there were persons who are not okay with the arrangement after we presented the development with them, they were certified.”
A resident of the estate, Basheer Shittu, who spoke with Vanguard said: “The power supply has been consistent with 24 hrs supply. The example is like a blind person who suddenly found his/her eyes opened unabated. No reasonable residents would not be happy seeing the next level, witnessing uninterrupted supply of electricity to all resident it is unbelievable.
“The tariff to my opinion is being reasonable if compared with expenses being spent on diesel and maintenance of generator by an individual. It also eliminated pollution/noise being experienced by the individual generator.
Secondly, the Executive arrangement on this next level step taken of 24hrs electricity is being commended and excellent by me and the majority of the resident.
Also, Barr Stephen Ighomuaye, from the estate said: “I have lived in Magodo for about 22 years now. Let me state categorically that the arrangement with IE is the best thing that has happened to Magodo Phase two as an Estate.
“This arrangement is the result of painstaking negotiations spanning several months and involving every stakeholder. Meetings upon meetings were held at various levels. A special committee comprising professionals and longstanding residents was set up to drive the process.
“For the first time in over 30 years, residents have witnessed over one week of uninterrupted power. Not a blink, I mean. If there is any single resident who does not support this premium power arrangement with IE, I can tell you for free that such a person lives in Mars.”