By S. U. Thoronka………………………………
The Chief Executive Officer of PEC Sierra Leone, Mr. Malador Sowe in an exclusive interview with the Global Times informed that his company has generated over seven billion Leones as revenue for Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA).
He said following the unbundling of the defunct National Power Authority (NPA) in 2014, an expression of interest was advertized. The objective was for the newly established Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) to procure the services of a competent firm to conduct a pilot study and propose an Advance Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system for efficient and effective revenue collection, based on the state of the Art technology.
According to the CEO, PEC Sierra Leone, an indigenous entrepreneur was awarded the contract to carry out the pilot phase on the AMI for a period of six months and that PEC immediately requested from the manufacturer in South Africa to develop the software package, manufacture 600 smart meters, both single and three phase and the vending platform and that a total of 287 meters were installed.
He said the company has a total work force of 30 employees all Sierra Leoneans and that two are in South Africa for advance training, while the project was pre-financed with a total of US$1,000,000.
Mr. Sowe disclosed that from January-October 2016, PEC has been able to generate seven billion, seven hundred and fifty-two million, nine hundred and forty-four thousand and thirty-five Leones and seventy-two cents (Le7,752, 944,035.72).
Out of this amount, ninety percent was paid to EDSA, that is to say six billion, nine hundred and seventy- seven million, six hundred and forty-nine thousand, six hundred and thirty-two Leones, fifteen cents (6, 977, 649, 632. 15).
According to Mr. Sowe, the Minister of Energy, Ambassador Henry Macauley is doing all he can to frustrate the good efforts of PEC that is working towards alleviating the pro-poor in the society.
“With the installation of the AMI system by PEC, certain discrepancies have been unearthed, that is to say EDSA cannot boast of a database of consumers with a lot of leakages, and that besides during the pre-installation process, PEC carried out checks to ensure that the new meter installations would be correct”.
During that process, Mr. Sowe said in quite a number of cases, existing metering installations were found to be incorrect and in- reversely connected resulting in under-charges. He cited Red Sea Fishing Company where the old metering installation was found to be incorrect and that on 1st to 30th April 2016, amount charged by EDSA was Le6,538,248 while the amount charged on Smart Metering System in May 2016, by PEC was L17,119,370 and in June 2016, Le 15,782470.
“On the installation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs PEC discovered that serious tampering was done on the metering that is wiring from the current transformers was reversed on all three phases, while the meter registered a negative consumption. The loss on revenue is estimated at Le902, 123,976, these are few examples out of a host of other MDAs and companies”.
Mr. Sowe commended EDSA Board of Directors headed by Idrisa Aloma Kamara for creating policies in the energy sector that are in line with the President’s Agenda for Prosperity.
He said the AMI system could be used to create a database of consumers and that it would also track property tax and does not encourage leakages. He vehemently decried the recent increase in electricity tariff by the Minister of Energy, adding that there was no reason for an increase if the issue of leakages was fully addressed by the Minister.
He said the Minister of Energy Mr. Henry Macauley has ordered the closure of PEC installation facility at Lumley for no obvious reason even when he was cautioned by the Chief of Staff at State House not to do so.