By Peter Uzoho
Ikeja Electric (IE) has commenced the implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) across its Strategic Business Units. The firm aims to deploy 106,701 prepaid electricity meters allocated it within the next two months.
IE flagged off the roll out of the meters at the weekend at its Oshodi Business Unit, same day three other distribution companies namely Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna and Kano Distribution Companies also kicked off their roll outs.
IE in a statement said, “in line with this programme, Ikeja Electric Plc (IE) is committed to driving the roll out through a series of one-day metering initiative across different locations in its network. These metering initiative is designed to ensure a seamless metering process that allows customers to register and be metered on the same day after following due process.
“For the first phase of the programme, which will run till the end of the year, Ikeja Electric is rolling out over 106,000 prepaid meters to customers across its six Business Units – Ikeja, Abule-Egba, Akowonjo, Oshodi, Ikorodu and Shomolu.”
It said the beneficiaries of the programme, which would cut across all locations in IE network, will not be required to pay upfront for the installation of meters.
It explained that rather, the modalities of cost recovery for the meters will be clearly defined and communicated to the beneficiaries.
It further explained that the primary objective of the NMMP was to increase the metering rate in the country and close the gap of unmetered customers.
“It is also expected that it will assist in reducing collection losses, while at the same time, increasing financial flows to achieve 100 percent market remittance obligation of the Discos.
“Part of the objectives also include the elimination of arbitrary estimated billing, improving network monitoring capability and provision of data for market administration and investment decision-making.
“Apart from its job creation potentials in the Meter value chain, the program will further strengthen the local meter value chain by increasing local meter manufacturing, assembly and deployment capacity, all in support of Nigeria’s economic recovery plan,” IE said.
The Disco, however, restated its commitment to bridging the metering gap by metering all its customers, to ensure an efficiently managed electricity supply industry that meets the yearnings of Nigerians.
Explaining the process further, the Business Manager, Oshodi Business Unit, IE, Mr. Taofeek Alade Basanya, said: “We will visit a particular estate and all the customers that have not been metered there will apply that same day, they will be surveyed and the metering will be done the same day.
“And that is what we are going to commence here today in Victory Estate (Ago Palace Way, Lagos). 288 meters will be deployed in this estate.”
He also explained that the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) programme had not been scrapped or pushed aside, saying the NMMP was going to run concurrently with the MAP initiative.
“So the two of them will run together: one is not going to stop for the other. We are working in partnership with the MAP. They are working with us in the new initiative. As a matter of fact, the MAP you are seeing here today is Mojec International and it is one of the MAP that we have been using before.
On the recovery of the cost of the meters under the NMMP, Obasanya, said “the regulator has not told us exactly the way and manner we are going to recoup the cost but the cost is definitely going to be recouped”.