NESI @10: Sahara Group’s GMD Outlines Plan to Fix Nigeria’s Power Sector

 NESI @10: Sahara Group’s GMD Outlines Plan to Fix Nigeria’s Power Sector

Kola Adesina, Group Managing Director of Sahara Group, which owns Egbin Power and Ikeja Distribution Company (Disco), identified seven activities that stakeholders must do for Nigeria’s embattled power sector to begin its journey to full recovery yesterday.

The GMD, whose company also has investments in the upstream and downstream petroleum industries, spoke on the final day of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) roundtable in Abuja to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the power sector’s partial privatisation.

One thing that must be done, according to Adesina, is that if the government must subsidize, it should be put toward electricity generation.

He emphasized further that pricing needs to be segmented, represent market realities, and be in line with the customer experience. The entire value chain, from gas to the customer, needs to be in alignment.

In addition, he recommended that Nigerian electricity users be converted to paying clients and that technology be implemented to provide the best possible service.

He went on to say that while the power industry needs access to foreign exchange, government organizations and agencies must foot the bill for the provision of electricity.

Furthermore, Adesina pointed out that funding for a consumer assistance fund should be determined by market realities, much as client clustering should be carried out independently of service lines.

Additionally, he made the argument that laws and rules need to be dependable and steady.

“Economies/industrial and commercial entities must be prioritised in terms of supply. Legacy debts must be cleared. Investor confidence must be assured.

“Renewable energy must be deployed to all categories of customers, particularly the underserved and unserved markets,” he said.

Regarding Ikeja Disco’s accomplishments, he said that in 2019 it created history by becoming the first to introduce a bilateral project between the Disco and patrons.

He went on to say that this demonstrated the company’s commitment to greatness via cooperation and collaborative spirit.

“This service aimed to provide improved electricity to our customers which was made possible by investment in infrastructure upgrade, improved working relationship with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and a dedicated 24-hour maintenance service.

“This emphasised our commitment to providing seamless service and setting new standards in the industry. The same year witnessed the launch of the e-billing platform, making us pioneers in embracing digital solutions for the convenience of our customers.

“This is a testament to our adaptability, innovation, and commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements,” he said.

According to Adesina, the company also accomplished a noteworthy milestone by being the first Disco to obtain all three certifications: ISO 14001:2015 for the environmental management system, ISO 45001:2018 for the occupational health and safety management system, and ISO 9001:2015 for the quality management system.

He stated that these accomplishments are a testament to NESI’s commitment and diligence, pointing out that in 2023 the business achieved a notable decline in collection and technical losses from 44 percent to an astounding 17.8 percent.

He said that this demonstrated the company’s joint efforts in sustainable energy practices and operational efficiency.

“Our commitment to customer satisfaction is evident in our initiative to adopt automated payment channels, making transactions smoother and more efficient for our valued customers. We are not just providing a service; we are creating experiences that resonate with our customers.

“Recognising the importance of transparency and accountability, we successfully metered over 830,292 customers, giving them control over their energy consumption and fostering a sense of empowerment.

“As we celebrate a decade of achievements, I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to every one of you—our dedicated and hardworking team members. Your commitment, passion, and resilience have been the driving force behind our success.

“As we look back on our journey, let us also look forward to the exciting possibilities that the future holds. Together, as one cohesive team, let us continue to illuminate lives, empower communities, and drive Ikeja Electric Plc to even greater heights while bringing energy to life responsibly,” he added.

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