25 November 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has insisted that electricity distribution companies (discos) across the country whose customers have applied and paid for prepaid electricity meters under the Credit Advance Payment Metering Implementation, CAPMI, scheme must meet up with customers’ requests within its stipulated 45 days installation period.
Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi said at at a recent public consultation in Abuja on the status of CAPMI implementation that, “It is regrettable that customers paid for meters and they are not supplied within same month, even years after.”
He added that, “The 45 days of meter installation under the CAPMI scheme was one of the benefits a customer was supposed to enjoy therefore it could not be compromised.”
The commission recently announced its decision to conduct a nationwide consultation with distribution companies and consumers on the implementation status of the CAPMI scheme, owing to numerous complaints it received from stakeholders on poor compliance by the distribution companies.
The agency started the consultation in Abuja, with the other distribution zones expected to be covered within the next one month.
NERC launched the CAPMI in 2013 to provide a platform for willing customers to pay the cost of meter into a dedicated account jointly managed by the distribution companies and meter approved vendor/installer.
Within the scheme, authenticated payment by the willing customer will be acknowledged and the customer will the appropriate prepaid meter installed within 45 days at preferred locations by the NERC accredited vendor/installer.
Customers are however expected to get rebates for the meter procurement from their energy purchases overtime.
NERC’S insistence on the 45 days execution period is, however, receiving some backlash from distribution companies who have argued that it was impossible to meet up with the 45-day rule due to several factors.
For instance, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) said in its argument that the modalities for implementing the CAPMI may not be achieved within the time frame due to some factors.
Speaking in a presentation at the Abuja lap of the CAPMI consultation, the AEDC’s Executive Director in charge of Regulatory and Stakeholders’ Affairs, Abimbola Odubiyi said that the 45 days specification for installing meters under CAPMI was being delayed by the installers and not the distribution company.
While his claims could not be verified, NERC however said the 45 days installation period must be strictly adhered to, for the benefit of the customers.
Odubuyi, who represented the Managing Director of AEDC, Neil Croucher said that out of the 737,535 electricity customers under the company, 404,990 have been metered.
He said that a significant 332,545 of its customers have not been metered by the company.