From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has listed reasons why Abuja and other franchise areas have been thrown into darkness since this year.

In a statement, AEDC said that the technical challenges were due to a combination of inclement weather conditions, vandalism, routine maintenance and technical installations at various locations within its franchise areas.

“While we sincerely apologise for any inconveniences caused, we assure you that the ongoing technical installations across our franchise areas are aimed at improving our power supply” the said.

Recall that since January this year similar reasons have been alluded to this inefficiency.

In a statement, in January, the Chief Marketing Officer of the company, Donald Etim said that the vandalism of the company’s facilities have seriously impeded the company’s efforts to deliver stable and reliable power supply to its esteemed customers.

Condemning the acts, he said that the surge in cases of vandalism within AEDC’s franchise areas has become quite worrisome, especially as the vandals have increasingly utilised unfathomable methods to perpetrate their criminal acts.

Related News

“Recently, 185 meters of XLPE underground cable was carted away at the Central Business Area, Abuja, valued at over N5 million at just one location out of several others that have been similarly affected across our franchise area. The multiplier effects of the damage run into billions of naira’’ he noted.

Etim explained that following its sincere desire to ensure improved power supply, it last year activated a rich basket of technical and commercial projects that would upon completion significantly improve power supply to customers and thereby enrich customer experience. Some elements of the various projects, he stated, involved the procurement and installation of various electrical equipment worth millions of naira.

“Unfortunately, many of these installations are currently being vandalised across the network, causing very painful power supply disruptions, untold hardship and losses to its customers and huge financial and reputation losses to the company.

According to Etim, AEDC will not relent in its efforts to ensure it provides uninterrupted power supply hence the company’s continued investments in network upgrades, refurbishment of faulty transformers, procurement of new transformers as well as the construction of new feeders and lines to relieve existing ones.

“On the customer side, we have gone mobile with our metering drive by physically taking meters out to customer cluster locations and getting them metered within 24 hours. There are at least 27 such locations currently operational within our franchise today, excluding our formal offices. We have launched multiple payment channels, including USSD short codes, that allow our customers vend power at zero commission. We have also launched a verify-staff platform that enables customers, for their safety, to quickly verify AEDC visitors to their premises by simply inputting the said staff’s ID card number into a link connected directly to our website.

“Also, as part of efforts to curb the menace of vandalism on its network, the management of AEDC has strengthened its collaboration with security agencies such as Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), community leaders, and even recently set up a civilian JTF component.

“These collaborations have resulted in increased security patrol exercises, aggressive community sensitisation, several arrests and successful prosecutions. The company is also working towards deploying a remote monitoring system for locations with high incidences of vandalism” the Chief Marketing Officer, said.