During the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector in 2012, the KANN Utility Company Consortium was successful in its bid for the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC). AEDC faced wide-ranging challenges after effectively taking over the network assets, utility staff and current operations from the previously government-owned electricity entity, which was in a very bad state at that time.
Networks were poorly constructed and maintained, and network outages were rampant. The utility’s customers were dissatisfied and the employees unmotivated. No established and proven business processes were employed and followed in the utility. The information system was mostly outdated and dysfunctional, while data could not be trusted. The utility faced tremendous technical, commercial and collection losses of above 50%. It was soon realised that these losses might be more than had been indicated during the bidding process.
Zutari was appointed as the technical service provider to AEDC from 2013 to 2018, which entailed:
- Providing strategic inputs and advice to AEDC management
- Placements, including providing experienced resources to strengthen the AEDC team
- Establishing service packs to execute strategic projects identified from the advisory support work
- Setting up a revenue protection unit to curb rampant energy theft
While calculating the actual losses, Zutari ascertained them to be almost double the value than what the utility based their proposal on.
Networks were poorly constructed and maintained, and network outages were rampant. The utility’s customers were dissatisfied and the employees unmotivated.
Collecting what was due was a priority
One of the initial goals to reduce losses was to secure the correct revenue from the large power user (LPU) customers.
One of the initial goals to reduce losses was to secure the correct revenue from the large power user (LPU) customers. Zutari launched a LPU audit, which was focused on identifying physical metering issues, as well as data issues that would result in LPUs not being billed correctly.
The company also assisted AEDC in setting up a daily, weekly and monthly performance monitoring system focused on billing and revenue collection efficiency by region, within the utility’s franchise area.
Final massive data collection exercise
One of the final projects delivered by Zutari was a complete enumeration of more than one million customers on the AEDC networks. Zutari provided the systems, processes and management staff, while AEDC provided the bulk of the field and back office resources.
With more than 80 million data attributes captured in the process, this was one of the single biggest data collection projects completed by Zutari. The data was used to improve utility information systems, as well as identify illegal connections and other issues that could affect the utility’s income.
*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020. Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.