Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) says it has concluded plans to install more than 200,000 additional meters to electricity consumers in its franchise areas.
AEDC’s Managing Director Ernest Mupwaya disclosed this at a forum in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, organised for electricity consumers.
According to him, this is part of AEDC’s determined effort to end estimated billing and further improve electricity supply in its franchise areas.
The forum was organised by AEDC and the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on curbing excessive electricity billing by Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria.
The forum had in attendance customers on residential and Maximum Electricity Demand from Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It was designed to elicit first-hand information by members of the committee on issues of power supply from consumers in the North-Central zone.
Mupwaya, presenting the activities of the company, said AEDC was committed to further improve services to customers in its franchise areas.
He said the company had installed 146,749 meters to customers, adding that it was also in the interest of the company to meter all its customers.
He said the company was also keying in to the new Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme by engaging meter asset providers to bridge the metering gap and reduce the issue of estimated billing.
He, however, said that a quick method to also reduce estimated billing was to meter transformers supplying electricity to cluster areas.
He said the company, in 2018, would meter 7,000 transformers to help reduce estimated billing.
The AEDC boss also said the company had also reduced its ATC and C loss profile to 38 per cent from 54 per cent on inception.
This, he said, was resulting in an improved supply and stability of supply to consumers.
According to him, AEDC has also increased its capacity to take more power to 870 MegaWatts (MW).
The managing director added that the company was also re-configuring it’s network to phase out old conductors.
He said the allocation of electricity from the National Grid to the company was in the region of 500MW at the moment.
Earlier, Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Mr Israel Ajibola, told participants that the interactive session was to get views of customers on excessive electricity charges by DisCos.
He said the House of Representatives had been under intense pressure from various constituents on serious complaints against DisCos in the country.
According to Ajibola, the complaints range from excessive billing to DisCos refusal to meter them, preference for estimated billing, non-compliance with the connection and re-connection regulations.
He said the committee had the mandate to investigate all alleged excessive electricity charges on consumers by DisCos, quality of meters being installed and why estimated billing was yet to be phased out.
He also said the committee was mandated to report back to the house for further legislative action.
Ajibola said the interaction became necessary, given the promise of government to deliver gains of democracy to the people, adding that steady supply in the FCT was not negotiable.
He said government was making effort to attract foreign investors into the economy, noting that steady power remained a prerequisite for growth and development.
The chairman said the committee would be open, fair and transparent in the discharge of the assignment to ensure value for money for all stakeholders, especially consumers.
Ajibola also said that the interaction which would hold in all the six geo political zones had been conducted in four zones of the country.
He said that parliamentarians were committed to resolving electricity issues in Nigeria because of its importance to economic development.
The representative of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr Olisa Chukwudi, assured participants that introduction of Meter Asset Providers (MAP) regulations would help bridge the 4.7 million metering gap of consumers.
Olisa said the MAP regulations mandated DisCos to close the metering gap within three years by engaging Meter Asset Providers to provide meters for Nigerians, adding that MAP would help end estimated billing.
Some of the consumers, who spoke at the forum, called on the parliament to assist in halting estimated billing methodology and urged DisCos to improve electricity supply to consumers.
However, some of the customers also commended AEDC for improved supply of electricity in recent times.