Benin Electricity Distribution Plc on Monday launched the Meter Asset Provider scheme with a target of providing 4,000 units of meters monthly.
The BEDC said a total of 67,452 meters would be rolled out in Ekiti state within the next two years in compliance with the directive of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Osinbodu said the meter installation would be preceded by enumeration of customers on feeders servicing to avoid energy theft.
The BEDC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, represented by the Executive Director in charge of Commercial said the meters would be provided to consumers in all its coverage areas with a view to ensuring that power generated and distributed was efficiently utilised to avert illegal consumption of electricity.
Osinbodu said consumers’ metering is imperative to encourage development of independent and competitive meter services, eliminate estimated billings, attract private investments, close the metering gap and ensure revenue assurance in Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.
“The customers’ premises will be cleared whether you want a single or double faces before you are metered. Metering will start from Ado Ekiti and move to other local governments. We warn that customers should not pay cash to enumerators or mappers; they should pay to our designated banks.
” An average of 13,542 megawatts is supplied to Ekiti on monthly basis and 14 percent of the power generated is lost due to poor Network facilities and technical losses caused by non- payment of bills and theft.
“We want our customers to cooperate with our officers as they move around to capture them in the two exercises, because the enumeration process will help in resolving almost 60 percent of the complaints from customers”, he said.
Osibodu lamented that the greatest challenges of electricity supply in Ekiti have always been the transmission bottlenecks, vandalism, massive energy theft, high community unrest and huge debt owed on bills.
She urged government to implement relevant laws to prevent vandalism and energy theft in protecting BEDC from loss, suggesting that mobile court can be constituted to try those indulging in this nefarious act.
“We have been able to correct some of these challenges through rehabilitation of some of the damaged facilities like Ikogosi/Erinjiyan /Ipole Iloro on Aramoko 33KV, commissioning of Ado Ekiti 2.5MVA 33/11KV injection substations to increase power supply from six to 12 hours.
The BEDC official in charge of Ekiti and Benin, Mrs Kunbi Labiyi, said the company has been trying to improve electricity supply despite the administrative and technical hitches it suffers , saying some communities have been energised to boost the economy and diversify the economy from the civil service structure.
Labiyi added that the BEDC is also tapping into the off grid electricity generation options, in partnership with the state government for improved electricity supply and robust economy.
Osibodu assured Gbonyin and Ekiti East local government areas of the state that they will be reconnected to the national grid after the scheme, saying the power outage in the councils was caused by rejection of bulk billings by consumers in the affected areas.
“We are sure that their issues will be resolved after this enumeration”, she said.
Source: The Nation