30 September 2014, Abuja ~ The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) will rollout 100,000 pre-paid meters yearly, the Managing Director, Neil Croucher, has said.
Croucher, who made this known in Abuja, said the measure is intended to address the company’s coverage areas’ metering gap .
He said: “We inherited a huge metering gap with different billing systems that do not communicate with one another. Indeed, there are five different vending platforms which we’re trying to harmonise so that they can communicate with each other; meaning that customers can buy their electricity token from any part of the areas covered by AEDC.
“The operation of five different vending platforms have their challenges, which were not in the interest of our customers and our operation.”
He said the company has arranged to install 100,000 meters a year in order to wipe out the backlog in its coverage areaas as quickly as possible, adding, “after securing the (metering) platform, we can then introduce our e-payment solution through which customers can purchase power either through internet, cellphones and e-banking, among others.”
The AEDC boss explained that the company is planning to migrate from the manual billing system it inherited to the modern one.”In the next few weeks, we should have the single (vending) platform commissioned and then rolled out to our entire supply area.
He saif the firm has six billing centres that would also communicate with each other and give it a centralized data base”, Croucher added.
He said in line with the proposed billing system, the company is making plans for a new meter reading system that would capture data electronically and automatically upload same into the company’s billing system, thus eliminating estimated billing and ensuring the integrity of bills.
Responding to a question on allegations that the Discos’ indebtedness to banks is suffocating the banking sector, the Abuja Disco boss said: “I think it is important to separate the company, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company from its owners.
“AEDC has not obtained any loan and so we don’t have loan repayment issue or debt overhang on our necks, though we would be taking loans in the process so that we would be able to fund the many projects which are required”, he affirmed.
~ The Nation