Long queues of customers were observed at the service stations at Byazhin, Kubwa, Karu and Gwagwalada, which are the vending centres for the cards.
Cashiers at the Kubwa, Byazhin and Karu centres complained of lack of network to vend the cards.
Usman M. Usman, Business Manager of the Kubwa Unit of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), confirmed there are challenges, saying the vending centres are having problems in procuring the ribbon for the vending machine since they exhausted the ones they were supplied with.
He said the challenge arose because PHCN did not know that the ribbon for vending the old pre-paid meters was different from the new ones installed by the World Bank.
“We cannot tell the customers that there is no ribbon for the machines. So, we have to tell them that there is no network for vending the cards. The problem is also in Gwagwalada and Karu; so, it is not only here,” he said.
He added: “When I called Karu and Gwagwalada for the ribbon, I was told that it was also not available there. We have placed an order for the ribbon from Lagos and we are already told that they are at the park for onward delivery to us.”
A customer at the Byazhin service station complained that cashiers gave them the flimsy excuse that there was no network to vend the card, but they have a way of selling to selected customers after negotiation.