Energy or access to it has for centuries played a huge part in the march of civilization across the world. The discovery of coal and its commercial exploitation drove an industrial revolution that spread across continents and caused nations to prosper. The subsequent discovery of electricity and its commercial application also powered the growth of industries worldwide. The subsequent discovery of crude oil and its commercial exploitation literally fueled another industrial revolution that profoundly impacted the world. Then the Internet came and totally, irreparably changed the way we all live. Of course, the discovery of electricity and the innovations around it led to the birth of the Internet. Today the Internet is driving the 4th Industrial Revolution and any nation that doesn’t take advantage of it will be left behind by the rest of the world.
Nigeria has for many years faced a perennial power problem with about 40% of its population having little or no access to electricity. Power generation numbers do not meet the country’s huge demand and even when the power generation companies improve their output, the distribution companies fail to utilize it and deliver more to consumers. This lack of adequate electricity supply ultimately affects issues such as the security of lives and property, farming and food production, entrepreneurial activities as well as white collar establishments and large scale commerce, and indeed all sectors of the economy. Internet access and penetration across Nigeria has increased over the years and this has increased E-commerce but it goes without saying that lack of electricity can hamper that growth. Yes, the Internet is a leveler but if Nigeria is to level up with already industrialised nations, it will have to finally get things right in its power sector.
Among those leading the charge are the men at the helm of Jos Electricity Distribution PLC. With Babangida Inuwa as Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Sani Bello, Zulkifilu Abba and Remi Jibowu as Directors, the company is not only helping to improve power generation and electricity supply across the four states its operations cover, the company is also embracing Internet-driven technological innovations to serve its customers better than before. Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) PLC is the first in Nigeria to adopt blockchain technology in trading and distributing energy. The company partnered with Cynotrust Intelligent systems to migrate its energy vending systems onto The Mocrow Ecosystem which is Cynotrust’s proprietary blockchain platform for energy trading. Blockchain technology is what drives the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and is fast becoming the becoming the preferred means of doing transactions in industrialised nations. That JED PLC is the first in Nigeria to adopt this technology in its business operations signals to the standards it is setting in the industry and it is surprising somewhat that such a notable stride has been evidently underreported in Nigeria.
Jos Electricity Distribution PLC is one of the eleven electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) that was “born” when the Federal Government of Nigeria privatized and unbundled the erstwhile Power Holding Company of Nigeria. Its headquarters is in Jos, Plateau State but its electricity distribution and sales spans across Plateau, Bauchi, Benue and Gombe States in Nigeria. The company receives a daily average energy allocation of about 240 MW which is about 7% of the National Grid’s capacity. Its distribution network spans approximately 152, 902 kilometres and serves over 400,000 households or customers through eight Regional offices, thirty Area offices and one hundred and forty seven Feeder offices.
It’s not only the fact that Jos Electricity Distribution PLC is doing well in its core business of electricity distribution and marketing that is commendable, the company’s core values of professionalism, agility, stewardship, safety, integrity, ownership and novelty (PASSION) are visible in its operations and that passion is translating to better service delivery for its customers. As Nigeria looks to improve the earning power of its citizens, the power sector impact of the 21st century ready JED PLC will prove critical to such efforts and it is hoped that its PASSION will inspire others to achieve their best. Nigeria’s bright future depends on it.