17 March 2015, Lagos – The Chief Executive Officer of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Oladele Amoda has urged customers to buy prepaid meters under the Credit Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme introduced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to curb estimated billings.
Speaking to journalists during the company’s recent quarterly briefings in Lagos, Amoda stated that his company had embarked on gradual elimination of estimated billings through in-house metering and CAPMI projects.
“We know that several customers are not metered and we have started metering customers. We have metered about 3,000 customers and we are currently expecting meters for key customer group called maximum demand customers. We have spent $15 million on the project we have committed ourselves, while the small commercial/residential customers will gulp N20 billion. We want to eliminate estimated billings gradually,” he said.
“Customers should advance money to the distribution companies by subscribing to CAPMI to get prepaid meters. If a customer pays, he will be metered within 45 days. We want to migrate everybody to smart meters. We plan to change all the non-functional meters to smart meters. We will also replace all the prepaid meters but those who cannot wait should subscribe to CAPMI to avoid estimated billings,” he said.
Amoda noted that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has not been funded properly enough to evacuate power that is being generated, adding that Eko Disco will partner TCN to provide funding to enable the transmission company to execute projects it were not able to execute.
“We will recover our money later but we have to assist them financially so as to help our customers,” he added.
Amoda said the capital expenditure of EkoDisco in 2015 was about N18 billion, adding that the new investors are not focusing on making profits but how to upgrade the network to improve power supply.
“We record a drop in revenue because people feel that they should not be paying for power. There is increase in energy theft. There were instances where the revenue did not cover the power we were allocated and that is the problem with most distribution companies,” he said.
He said the new investors had reduced technical losses from 35 per cent to 29.4 per cent, adding that it will be reduced to 10 per cent in the next five years.
On the accomplishments of the new investors since they took over in November 2013, Amoda said that over 200 No new distribution transformers and 3No. 15MVA 33/11KV power transformer had been installed.
He also said that the company had constructed 10Nos 33KV new feeders and several 11KV feeders in various locations.
Amoda identified vandalism as a major challenge, saying that incessant vandalism has led to drop in power supply.
He identified the other challenges to include energy theft and meter by-pass, non cost-reflective tariff, shortfall in generation and transmission interface issues.
– This Day