*warn electricity consumers against energy theft
By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) Plc says it is committed to bridge the metering gap in its area of operations.
Mr Adeoye Fadeyibi, Chief Executive Officer of EKEDC, who gave the assurance at a Customers’ Stakeholders’ Forum at the weekend in Lagos, urged its electricity consumers to be patient with the company.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had on April 5 directed all the Distribution Companies (DisCos) to commence distribution of prepaid meters under the Meter Assets Providers (MAPs), not later than May 1.
Fadeyibi, represented by the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr Joseph Ezenwa, said the company had commenced its metering process under the MAPs scheme to consumers within its franchise areas.
He said that the Town Hall meetings were yielding good results in educating and sensitising customers on the company’s effort toward addressing customers’ complaints.
The EKEDC boss said that essence of the forum was to sensitise customers on how to apply for meters and also to comply with the directives from NERC.
He said the scheme was not only for the provision of meters, but also responsible for the installation, maintenance and replacement of faulty meters.
Fadeyibi said the management was committed to ensuring that all its customers get metered with ease at the rate of N38, 325 for single phase meter, while a three phase meter costs N70,350.
He said the MAP scheme was established under the MAP regulation 2018, introduced by the regulator, NERC.
“This is to stop incessant complaints over estimated billings by customers, bridge the metering gap and accelerate meter roll out to enhance revenue generation.
“The meter providers drawn from Nigerian private sector are licenced by NERC to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services,” Fadeyibi said.
The chief executive officer appealed to customers to go through the proper channel to avoid fraudulent activities, saying there was no hidden charges, no processing fees and no application fees of any kind.
He advised customers to apply for meter through online on www.ekedc.com or visit any of their offices to fill the MAP application form.
Fadeyibi said that after a technical evaluation of the customer’s apartment was carried out, the customer would get a MAP identification number.
“This MAP identification number is all that is required to pay at any bank in Nigeria.
“Meters are then installed in customers’ premises within 10 working days after receipt of payment.
“Let me assure our customers that metering is an ongoing exercise and EKEDC will continue to ensure that more customers in the network are metered.
“All customers within the network from Apapa, Ijora, Agbara, Mushin, Ijeshatedo, Suru-Lere, Ibeju-Lekki, Ajah, Ikoyi, Victoria Island to Lagos Island will benefit from the ongoing metering exercise.
“This is to reduce the rate of estimated billing of our customers, it is a gradual process, but I can assure you that no one will be left behind,” he said.
Fadeyibi, however, warned consumers within its network against paying its personnel for installation of their company’s prepaid meters.
He said that the response time to faults had reduced lately, and that once customers report faults through the company’s customer care service, such faults would be taken with all seriousness.
“This, has also reflected on the improvement in power supply, speedy response to faults, convenient means of payments, reduction in ATC & losses and increased customer resolution.”
He said the company’s customer care staff had undergone a series of training to attend to all the complaints of customers.
“All I can say is that the future is looking very bright for our customers,’’ Fadeyibi said.
He said EKEDC had spent millions of naira on rehabilitation of some equipment, adding that over 11,000 distribution transformers within the network had been maintained adequately.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Festac Town Residents Association, Mr Sola Fakorede, commended the effort of the company toward ensuring adequate power supply within its operations.
Fakorede urged EKEDC to fast-track installation of meters to residents of Festac, adding that it would go a long way in addressing the challenge of estimated billings