Distribution Companies (DISCOs) should improve their revenue collection by utilizing Information Technology (ICT) facility as means of improving revenue generation and checking by-pass of meters and energy theft.
The Chairman/CEO, Dansaki Petroleum Limited, Dr. Ade Afolabi, gave this task in an exclusive interview with Daily Times in Lagos last week.
“The government should encourage gas to power producers, so that we can generate more power supply, so also the Discos should improve their revenue collection. They should embrace the ICT facility being used now. It will help. Eko Disco has embraced the technology and it is working for them”, he said.
On the issue of debt owed by the government ministries, departments and agencies to the Generation Companies (GENCOs) and DISCOs, he said the government has to do something with regards to settling debt owed by its ministries, departments and agencies. It is very vital according to him if the government wants a turnaround in the industry.
Speaking on vandalism of power equipment and energy theft, he said the challenge can be overcome through the use of the recent technology in place. They need to get inspectors to follow through, not just relying on information technology and sit back in the office. The inspectors should be going round to check the prepaid meter so that nobody bypasses the meter.
On preventing the vandalism of the pipelines, the Chairman called on the government to make sure that nobody builds or encroaches the right of way of the pipelines.
“The industry is built on respect for the right of way, they should make sure that nobody passes or encroaches the right of way of pipelines. Anytime you allow squatters to encroach they may build on the pipelines. We have to devise a means that will prevent people from going close to the pipelines, using the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps to police the pipelines. Anybody who goes close after all these efforts to deter people from going close should be arrested”, he further stated.
If there is decline in the price of crude oil according to him, we should refine locally maintain the refineries and also build new ones.
Speaking further on the full deregulation of the downstream come next year, he said the government should implement full deregulation of the downstream. “Sometime in the past, around September 2014, petrol sold for N87 or N90 per litre without subsidy. The problem started when the issue of vandalism surfaced gain. So, we couldn’t export the crude oil and we couldn’t refine locally. If we are sure of maintaining the present refining capacity and we are anxious about the use of energy and build more refineries. We will overcome the challenge,” he stressed.
On gas development and Utilization and Gas to power in 2017, he disclosed that there is enabling environment in gas production as there is willing buyer willing seller. “It is just like crude oil now as we buy at international market price. If we have this going forward, it will encourage production.”