The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says it has taken delivery of over 200,000 units of prepaid metres for distribution to its customers. Mr Chukwuemeka Ezeh, Head, Communication Department of the company, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday.
Ezeh said the company had enough metres to instal for customers and appealed for calm and understanding as due process had to be followed in distributing them.He said the investment of N10 billion into the metering project was a demonstration of EEDC’s commitment to have all customers in the zone metered.
The communication officer said the amount was a far cry from what was required to metre its over 700,000 customers, adding that Distribution Companies needed support to succeed.
“We are presently running our in-house metering process in which we have committed over N10 billion but that has not scratched the surface because of the number of customers on the network.
“We do not have the enormous financial muscle to metre every customer at the same time but consciously and gradually, we are making progress.
“So far, we have taken delivery of over 200, 000 units of prepaid metres and as we push them out more are being supplied; we have a good number of metres to give out but we want customers to be patient.
“We are aggressively metering our customers and as a way of pursuing the project, most utility vehicles in our offices have been mobilised for the metering staff and in February, 4,000 units were installed,” he said.
Ezeh reiterated that prepaid metres were free and warned customers on the EEDC network not to give anybody money to get the device as it would not yield any special benefit.
He urged those seeking installation of prepaid metres to apply through the EEDC website and stay on the queue until it was their turn.
Ezeh also said it was unfortunate that while the company was making effort to metre people, some customers were rejecting prepaid metres and others bypassing it.
He said the regulation in the industry did not allow customers to buy directly from prepaid metre manufacturers or dealers.
Ezeh said there was the need to review the tariff system in the power sector as the prevailing Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) module no longer allowed for cost reflective billing.
“MYTO is not cost reflective; it was designed when dollar was about N198 or so but now dollar is about N360, what that means is that we buy power at N198 and sell at N360 depending on the prevailing rate of dollar.
“DISCOs are those bearing the shortfall, imagine buying energy for N4 billion a month and struggle to collect N3 billion.”Ezeh said EEDC had compiled and would publish the name of debtors and energy thieves on the network soon.