In a live studio interview at African Utility Week, Dawie Pieterse, Chief Technical Officer, and Sam Nwaire, Chief Commercial Officer, both from Eko Distribution, discuss the significant changes that Nigeria’s power sector has undergone in the last two years.
Privatisation leads to solutions
The sector privatised eleven distribution companies, one of which is Eko Distribution. Prior to the privatisation, the sector struggled to overcome challenges relating to funding, technology, customer engagement and management. With privatisation, the sector was able to overcome these challenges.
Pieterse points out that while privatisation has proven to be a major success, the focus now is on increasing generation and building the appropriate infrastructure to accommodate the new power sources. He adds that Eko Distribution will be assessing the long term capex plan.
Focus on growth areas
Eko has identified several major areas for growth:
Upgrading the ageing and neglected network
Expansion of the customer base from 380,000 to 1 million customers over the next three years
Increase power supply
Loss reduction (technical and commercial and collection losses). This is driving a five-year smart metering plan. Pilots are currently underway.
Special training and development
Pieterse mentions that the US Trade And Development Agency has agreed to sponsor a study for the automation of networks to help implement a world class network.
Says Pieterse, “We have got this opportunity now. We can be at the forefront of technology because we can draw on learnings from other utilities. Ultimately, our vision for Eko is to be the leading utility in Africa and we are well on our way to achieving that.”