23 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Eko Electricity Distribution Company Limited, EKEDC, Oladele Amoda, has said the Credit Advanced Payment Metering Implementation, CAPMI scheme, is coming back.
He made the statement during an interview session with SweetcrudeReports at its headquarters at Marina, Lagos on Wednesday.
According to Amoda, the scheme will return due to the high rate of liquidity loss in the sector.
He explained that the cost of metering is too high, making it more difficult for Discos to handle it alone, also citing customers’ inability to wait for their turn in the metering plan.
However, the CEO revealed that the return of the scheme this time, will be more transparent.
There will be a tri-chain consisting of the customer, Disco and the meter vendor/installer, he said.
According to him, there will be no opportunity for exploitation and delay, as the customers will pay directly into a joint account managed by the Disco and meter vendor. And upon payment, customers will have their meters installed after 45 days, making the process more transparent, reliable and prompt.
“The scheme is coming back but this time around, it will no longer be between the customer and the Discos. A third party in form of the meter vendor will be involved. The customers will have to pay into an account managed by the Discos and vendors. And immediately they pay, the get their meters installed after 45 days. So there will be no complain from any quarter. It is going to be more transparent this time around,” he said.
“There is liquidity loss in the sector and the tariff is not cost reflective,” he added.
CAPMI scheme was initiated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC to address the slow pace of customer metering by the 11 distribution companies, as well as high level of complaints received from customers and dissatisfaction with estimated billing system.
The scheme allows willing customers to pay the cost of the meter into a dedicated joint account managed by the Disco and meter vendors. Once payment has been effected, customers will have their meters installed within 45 days.
However, NERC recently asked for the scheme to be canceled due to constant complaints of exploitations and delays from electricity consumers.
NERC in a letter to the Discos, also said between November 2013 and June 2016, only about 500, 000 meters were deployed by the 11 Discos within their networks with less than 35 percent of that directly done by the Discos.
Thus, the scheme was wounded down in November 2016.
It would be recalled that sometime this month, news filtered in that electricity customers will now start paying for meters as against NERC’s earlier directive that no customer should pay.
However, Oladele clarified that return of CAPMI will not stop the ongoing metering process.
“We are still metering our customers. However just like in the past, customers who cannot wait for their turn in our metering plan can go ahead to pay for it but, let them be assured that there will be no controversy this time around,” he said.