A United States government-led initiative coordinated by the US Agency for International Development, Power Africa, has struck a new deal with Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company to advance the power sector in Nigeria.
Power Africa said it would extend technical and managerial support to the IBEDC in its efforts to reduce energy losses, increase revenue, and improve overall performance of the utility.
The partnership between Power Africa and IBEDC was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed during a ceremony held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The agreement was signed by the Chief of Party for the Power Africa Transactions and Reforms Programme, Llyr Rowlands, and the Managing Director, IBEDC, John Donnachie.
“Enhancing technical and operational efficiency, reducing losses, and making it easier to collect payment will boost the bottom line at Discos, inject cash into the energy value chain, and attract investment for electricity expansion projects that will benefit people and businesses across the country,” the Power Africa’s representative for USAID/Nigeria, Roseann Casey, said at the launch.
She said USAID would provide technical support to the IBEDC to develop and implement a turnaround plan for the distribution company.
According to her, this work will include oversight of revenue management practices, field inspections to assess the extent to which new practices and procedures are being successfully implemented, and staff training to provide field-based support to utility personnel.
The IBEDC MD, Donnachie, said, “This agreement heralds the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership. We appreciate the support we have received from Power Africa, and we look forward to working together to improve operations, build a healthier electricity value chain, and ultimately better times for our customers.”
According to a statement, Power Africa initiated similar support for three distribution companies, which are the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Benin Electricity Distribution Company and Eko Electricity Distribution Company in 2016, with substantial success to date.
It said aggregate energy losses had been reduced at each Disco, and revenue collection increased by N27bn (approximately $75m) in 2017.
The statement said Power Africa’s support for the four Discos represented a $12m investment in the self-reliance and resilience of Nigeria’s energy sector, demonstrating the USAID’s position as the world’s premier international development agency.