Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Enugu Electricity Distribution Plc (EEDC) thursday suspended the standalone meter decommissioning exercise in an apparent deference to demands by several human right and civil society organisations.
The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has recently directed the distribution company to back down on the exercise.
The company had earlier in the year declared its intention to phase out the old meters and directed customers to pay N38,000 and N72, 000 respectively for single and double smart card meters which would be swapped after they must have migrated to estimated billing system pending the availability of the new meters.
The development had led to protests by different groups within the company’s catchment areas especially in Enugu. The company, in a statement yesterday by its Head of Communications, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, which was made available to newsmen in Enugu, said the exercise remained suspended until more smart prepaid meters are procured to complete the swapping exercise.
The EEDC said with this development, customers whose meters are yet to be decommissioned could visit any of the designated vending points located at select district offices to recharge their meters.
“It will be recalled that part of the reasons for the decommissioning exercise is the increasing difficulty in providing support for the card reader system used in vending these standalone meters.
“However, EEDC have retrieved some of the machines that are functional and deployed them at the select designated locations to enable customers vend their meters.
“Efforts are in place to install meters for customers whose meters were decommissioned during the exercise.
“Consequently, customers within EEDC network that are still unmetered, and those on standalone meters are enjoined to take advantage of the ongoing Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme, a metering programme designed and approved by the Federal Government and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to procure their smart prepaid meters,” he said.
Ezeh reassured esteemed customers of EEDC’s unwavering commitment to good services.