By Dipo Olowookere
Customers of Kaduna Electric have been assured improved services as the firm holds its maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The meeting had in attendance all the shareholders and the representative of the Federal Government and it considered and unanimously re-elected the six non-Executive Directors and reconstituted the Audit Committee for the company.
Chairman of the firm, Mr Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar, who briefed shareholders, identified certain macro-economic, regulatory and operational constraints that hindered the performance of the company during the period under review.
He promised that the company will double its efforts in delivering efficient power to its customers despite the harsh economic challenges in the country.
According him, the country “is in the midst of macro-economic head winds; oil prices fell from over $108.40 per barrel in May 2014 to $52.85 per barrel in April 2017, resulting in severe downward pressure on the Naira as the Naira devaluated from about N220 to over N400 against the US Dollar at the parallel market over the same period.
“In addition to this, Nigeria continues to have one of the highest rate of inflation with a year on year increase in the price of goods and services of 18.72 percent as at January 2017, a metric which Kaduna Electric must bear without a transfer of a burden to customers as a result of the regulated pricing in the form of tariff.”
Other challenges faced by the company since taking over as enumerated by the Board’s Chairman includes unfulfilled promises made to prospective investors during the bidding process, regulatory interference, non-cost reflective tariff, MDAs debt, capital expenditure limits, low electricity generation, failure of NERC to implement subsidy through the administration of Power Consumer Assistance Fund, non-availability of low interest credit facilities and frequent government intervention in the electricity market.
Despite the numerous challenges, Kaduna Electric, Mr Abubakar announced, is being re-positioned for improved performance.
He enumerated some of the achievements recorded by Kaduna Electric during the period under review to include the stabilization of the distribution network operations, increasing the distribution capacity by over 1500MVA, supply and installation of 25,000 smart meters and expansion of the network to underserved areas in the company’s franchise area.
In his speech, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Kaduna Electric, Mr Garba Haruna, assured the shareholders that, in spite of the regulatory, network disruption and liquidity risks which the company has to contend with, Kaduna Electric has commenced the mapping of the 33KV, 11KV and the LT networks which has so far yielded positive result.
According to him, the networks mapping has “provided clarity of the actual company’s network, while also increasing customers’ population from less than 300,000 to about 435,000 presently in the system. At conclusion of the programme in2017, we hope to achieve customers’ enumeration and capturing of about 750,000 while making consistent growth to about 1,000,000 by 2018”.
The firm had earlier received a clean bill of health from the External Auditors, Messrs. Ahmed Zakari & Co. In the Independent Auditors
Report presented at the AGM and signed by Mr Najib Imam for Ahmed Zakari & Co., the audit firm affirmed that they have audited the accounts of Kaduna Electric and found same to be in full compliance with all financial reporting standards.
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