Stakeholders urge NERC, EEDC to facilitate installation of prepaid meters

Stakeholders in the electricity industry in the South-East have urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to facilitate installation of prepaid meters in homes..

The stakeholders gave the advice in Enugu on Friday at the NERC Stakeholders Engagement on Consultation on the Review of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

The stakeholders were of the view that the electricity DisCos must be technically and financially prepared to get all customers metered within limited time to check extortion and disagreements emanating from estimated billing system.

Mr David Emeson, a customer living within Agui Road in Enugu, said that most time due to limited technical and financial abilities, the DisCos could not meet the target of metering customers within the 10 days duration when applied for.

“Whether free-of-charge or pay-and-get-reimbursed prepaid meter installation, it should be done on time and not putting who wants to get out of estimated billing system in more months or years in estimated billing trap,’’ Emeson said.

Mr Ben Muotuanya, a resident of Achara Layout in Enugu, lauded EEDC for the improvement in supply but noted that other technical and meter provision services had remained relatively low.

Muotuanya said that the NERC should ensure that EEDC did the right thing always by ensuring customers complained less by putting all into prepaid meter system.

Mr Paulinus Nwanakwu, a resident of Emene, complained that people in Emene had applied for NMMP prepaid meters but they were told that it was done in different designated areas and it would soon get to his community.

Nwanakwu noted that the issue of estimated billing system had been the greatest undoing of residents of Emene community, especially for artisans that needed the daily electricity supply for their businesses.

Prof. Frank Okafor, Commissioner in-charge of Engineering and Performance Monitoring in NERC, said that the review of the NMMP programme was meant to elicit complaints and correct grey areas in the distribution of the government’s free prepaid meters.

Okafor noted that the Federal Government initiated free NMMP metering to close the metering gap in the country.

He said that 92,000 electricity customers within South-East had been provided with prepaid meters in the “Phase 0” of the NMMP programme.

“The Federal Government is about to start the next phase (Phase 1) after the “Phase 0” with over three million prepaid meters expected to be distributed to electricity customers throughout the country,” he said. (NAN)