The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) says all electricity consumers who paid for meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme will be refunded through credit “tokens” within six months.
The Chief Executive Officer, EKEDC, Dr Tinuade Sanda, gave the assurance during a Customer Engagement Forum on Thursday in Agbara, a suburb of Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that customers at the forum were drawn from Agbara business unit which covers Agbara, Owode, Ijanikin, Ajara and Badagry.
Others are Ajido, Otto-Awori, Ketu, Pota, Avia, Oko-Afo, Aiyetoro, Seme, Ilogbo-Ereni, Era-Abule, Kwame, Aradagun and lbereko.
Sanda, represented by the General Manager, Commercial, Revenue Cycle, EKEDC, Mr Samuel Edoho, urged customers to key into the ongoing metering process to avoid being billed through estimated billing.
According to him, the only way to end the frequent complaint on alleged over-billing and estimated billing is to acquire meters.
“Customers who paid through MAP scheme will be refunded within six months.
“The Disco has started massive metering of customers who paid through the MAP scheme,” she said.
The EKEDC boss noted that the clarification became necessary because some consumers wanted to know if the money they paid for meters under the MAP scheme would be refunded.
She explained that the essence of the forum was to interact with customers within their network on better way to improve service delivery.
“Our mission in Eko DisCo is to improve the quality of lives of all customers by utilising cutting-edge technology to safely, sustainably and reliably supply electricity.
“That is what we stand for, and we will continue to promote this,” Sanda said.
She expressed confidence that Eko Disco was committed to economic and infrastructure development.
She said that the company was also committed to delivering safe, reliable and steady power supply to customers within its network operations.
On metering, the chief executive officer said that the Distribution Company (Disco) had a goal to achieve 100 per cent metering of its customers.
She said that currently, DisCos had metered about 70 per cent of its customers, and was also working toward ensuring effective metering of the remaining 30 per cent.
The EKEDC’s boss further said that the money collected from customers was owned by all the players within the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) value chain.
“The remittances to the market operator by the DisCos are shared within the value chain and the balance received by them is used for infrastructure needs, operations and staff salaries.
“It is an acknowledged fact by all stakeholders in NESI that the elimination of estimated billings and urgent targeted metering of customers with prepaid meters is the way to go.
“Nowadays, there are bottlenecks specifically from Generation Companies (GenCos),” she said.
On vandalism, Sanda urged customers to be their watchdogs and report destruction of equipment to the management.
She appealed to customers and stakeholders to support the company in tackling energy theft and vandalism within its network.
According to her, in spite of huge investment in power infrastructure by EKEDC, vandalism of equipment is still on the high side.
She said that activities of vandals were crippling power distribution to the company’s customers.
According to her, recently, we reported cases of stolen cables, damaged transformers and other network infrastructure.
She said that the company had invested huge amount on infrastructure development such as upgrading of equipment, transformers and poles.
Sanda, however, assured electricity consumers within its network that all complaints raised would be addressed.
In his remarks, the Baale of Era Town, Otto-Awori, Chief Olumide Erinle, commended Eko Disco management for prompt response to faults, while appealing to community representatives to bear with the company pending when their complaints are addressed.
Erinle urged EKEDC to embark more on enlightenment campaigns to educate communities within their network on the need to desist from building houses under high tension wires.
He said that Discos should ensure all complaints were addressed before the next town hall meeting.
“The issue of low-shedding of electricity in rural areas should be urgently addressed.
“All residents should also assist DisCo in securing their facilities to deliver on their promises,” he said.
Also, the Chairman, Customers Consultative Forum, Mr Festus Eweka, urged Eko Disco to install solar lights in all transformers and their facilities within the rural communities to safeguard the equipment.
Eweka commended the community leaders for their opinion and urged them to continue in protecting EKEDC’s facilities against vandals.