The Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EKEDC) said at the weekend that it had installed meters for all its 6,834 Maximum Demand (MD) customers within its network.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had on June 11, directed all the MD customers, who did not have meters to stop paying estimated bills slammed on them by the distribution companies.
But the Chief Operating Officer of EKEDC, Mr Sam Nwaire, told a town hall meeting with customers under the Agbara/ Badagry Business District Area in Lagos at the weekend that the company had completed metering all its MD customers since March 31.
He said that the company had metered about 50 per cent residential customers on free meter, adding that the company will meet its five years metering plans.
He, however, said that residential consumers were not included in the directive issued by the NERC on meter, no payment directive.
According to him, the clarification was necessary because some customers were claiming that NERC directed all consumers yet to be metered to stop paying electricity bills.
“We are happy to report that our maximum demand customers have been provided with meters as directed by NERC and are no longer billed by estimation. While we are making concerted efforts to provide meters for all our customers, we will continue to ensure the integrity of our bills and do everything within our mandate to comply with all NERC directives.
We, therefore, urge our non-MD customers to please avail themselves of the content of the directive and be rightly guided. bConsumers should not misinterpret it to avoid paying for electricity already consumed,’’ Nwire explained.
The COO promised that all unmetered customers would be reached within the stipulated time, noting that it was not possible for all customers to be metered at the same time because of the huge cost involved.
He urged those yet to be reached in the meter roll-out to exercise patience, saying that no customer would be left out at the end.
He also said the DISCO had an established billing methodology approved by the industry regulator for billing unmetered customers, based on a number of factors, which include the customers’ consumption pattern over time and availability of power supply within the particular month for which the customers were billed.
The EKEDC boss urged communities to be vigilant and guard against the activities of vandals in their areas.
He said that the company would work hand-in-hand with the police to ensure that the suspects and others would be duly prosecuted in court.
Nwaire said the company was only able to recover N4.8 billion out of N6.3 billion owed by customers for the month of May.
He said that the company was able to recover huge revenue due to the peak period, adding that customers under its network are yet to pay over N1.5 billion, which was part of the electricity consumed in May 2017.
He said that EKDC is still battling to recover over N1.5 billion owed by customers for the month, adding that such huge debts had affected the company’s major projects