Ikeja Electricity distribution company is having problems convincing its customers to take active part in the ongoing Phase 0 of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) of the Federal Government.
Consequence upon this, the company is recording a very slow pace in the customer’s participation in the mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) exercise which is a pre- condition for getting free meter.
It has therefore expressed it frustration over this slow pace of registration by the unmetered customers who it expected would embrace the exercise as they complain of getting estimated billings from the company.
The company has many unregistered consumers in its network. A number of customers are rejecting being metered while many houses are poorly wired and hence cannot be metered until this is corrected
Only 57 per cent of customers have so far completed the mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) online application, out of 106,701 customers of the electricity Distribution Company that have been scheduled to be installed with free prepaid meters under the phase zero of the NMMP.
There are just about 24,000 customers that have been metered so far under the scheme.
According to Felix Ofulue, Head, Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, he said: ” The challenges we are having is that people are not going online to register. Only 57 per cent have done their KYC and some are even saying they don’t want meters”.
He said there is also the issue of separation of accounts by customers which involves installation of their electrical connection to the required standard before they can be issued meters.
“Some of them have refused to do that and we cannot issue one meter for instance for five flats because it can easily get damage.
“All those who are yet to register are enjoined to visit map.Ikejaelectric.com to complete their registration as soon as possible.”
Ofulue said without their registration, the DisCo would not be able to get more allocations under the next phase of the programme.
He noted that the plan to bridge the metering gap in the country had been given a boost with $500 million funds from the World Bank.
He advised customers to desist from attacking employees of the DisCo who are carrying out their official duties, stressing that those involved would be prosecuted.
The Ikeja Electric spokesperson also appealed to the customers to help the company protect its electrical installations from vandals and energy thieves, stating that it has inaugurated whistleblower programme which would enable it reward those that give it information about people tampering with its installations.
The Federal Government had on Oct. 30,2020 flagged off the NMMP which is aimed at meeting the target of closing the metering gap in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry by December 2021.
This intervention is expected to help in reducing collection losses, while at the same time, increasing financial flows to achieve 100 per cent 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.
This situation is how not limited to Ikeja Electric alone.
According to Angel Olarewaju, brand manager of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, a number of customers in the network are rejecting being metered while many houses are poorly wired and hence cannot be metered until corrected.
The company also have restricted access to some customer premises to install meters.
Within the franchise of Ibadan Disco for instance, just a little over 30,000 customers have been metered under NMMP. While about 112,000 people have registered for meters under the MAP program, over 36,000 paid and have all been metered. A total of over 66,000 customers have been metered since the inception of MAP and NMMP.
Many of the distribution companies are not able to move as fast they should in respect of meter installations because many of the customers are alleged to have prefer as little as N1000 per month for the electricity consumed no mater they level that consumed by the. Some communities are said to have told some of the companies that need not pay more than N1000 for anything they use.