• Thursday, July 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Discos plan to deepen consumer engagement in new power market

businessday-icon

Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company and Eko Electricity Distribution Company, the two discos covering the Lagos area and some parts of Ogun State, are making moves to engage the services of a public relations firm.

This move is to boost the two companies’ customer engagement activities and awareness campaigns designed to create a strong relationship between them and the electricity consumers.

It is also a plan for strategic communications about their businesses and perhaps to calm the public frustrations over heightened epileptic power supply since the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

A source within the marketing communication industry says the two companies are thinking of engaging a single public relations firm since the electricity companies’ activities and the information to be disseminated to the public are almost the same.

The two companies are yet to decide on a public relations firm. But recently, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, according to a source, invited about five agencies for the PR account pitch. The electricity company is about narrowing its search to an Ikeja-based PR company when Eko Distribution company showed interest in the deal.

It is not clear whether Eko Distribution Company will favour the choice of Ikeja Distribution Company.

Recently, the two distribution companies jointly issued a statement assuring the public that the journey towards the expected era of sustainable, effective and stable supply will be achieved.

Blaming the poor current electricity situation on short-fall in gas supply, grid limitations and sabotage of the system, the companies said in the statement that already the companies had started making necessary investments towards strengthening their distribution networks for seamless and efficient power evacuation from the grid and subsequent delivery to the customers.

“We are working in conjunction with our technical partners to come up with a robust metering system that will serve customers effectively. This system will eradicate the complaints of estimated billing and check energy theft being perpetrated by people tinkering with pre-paid meters,” the statement read.

The discos have been under attacks recently over poor electricity supply after the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). They seem to have dashed the high expectations of  the privatisation of the PHCN.

“Almost five months after the power company was handed over, nothing seems to be changing. Epileptic power supply, poor customer relations, old metering regime (majority of consumers in Lagos still use old meters), estimated billing, among other anomalies that characterised the operations of the PHNC to the distaste of customers, have continued unabated. From all indications, the excitement that the handing over of PHCN generated among owners and operators of small businesses is weaning by the day,” according to a recent report.

Daniel Obi