NGO advocates prepaid meters to FCT satellite communities
The Downtrodden People’s Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has appealed to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to accelerate metering of its customers in satellite communities of the FCT.
Its President, Mr Tijani Olabode, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said the appeal became necessary because of the volume of unmetered customers in the satellite communities.
Olabode also said that the organisation had written to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to prevail on Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to intensify mass metering, provide and upgrade overloaded transformers in the country.
He listed the satellite towns in the FCT that required metering and change of the overloaded transformers, including Tudunwada and Sauka-Kauta villages in Lugbe.
Others are Jikwoyi in Karu and Bako communities in Gwagawalada in the FCT.
AEDC’s Managing Director Ernest Mupwaya had recently said at a workshop for judges in the FCT that the company had commenced enumeration of its customers to facilitate mass metering project.
AEDC, Mupwaya said, had installed 88,000 meters and would install 120,000 units by December to tackle complaints of estimated billing.
“The issue slowing down metering is funding constraint in the electricity market but we have found a way around it.
“We have used the vendor financing system to acquire 120,000 meters and if they are deployed and protected from energy theft, we can gain more funding and meter more customers.”
He said NERC had proposed a revival of the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI) to further increase metering in the country.
“The CAPMI entails an arrangement that enables customers to buy meters at designated shops around the 11 Discos and have them installed with a refund.“
Mupwaya further told energy correspondents at a workshop that the company had resolved to speed up the metering process by providing 10,000 customers in its franchise area monthly.
He also disclosed that N6.5 billion had been spent to improve distribution infrastructure in its coverage area.
He said the breakdown of the N6.5 billion spent included N900 million for the replacement of over 374 faulty transformers and other projects designed to check avoidable power outage in its franchise area.
“We have maintained 8,138 distribution substation transformers since 2016 out of the 12,000 units we have.
“We are maintaining about 60 to 90 every day and we have a target to reach the 12,000 by the end of this year,” Mupwaya explained.