As agitations rage in the Southeast, over the proposed change of existing meters by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), the Management of the Company has explained reasons behind the discontinuation of the use of meters.
Over the past few days, various groups have voiced out their disagreement with the proposal by the EEDC and had urged the people to vehemently resist such.
But in a statement to newsmen in Enugu made available by the EEDC spokesperson, Emeka Eze, the Company said it had in writing, communicated the less than 40,000 affected customers about the increasing difficulty in providing support for the card reader system used in vending the standalone meters over three months ago.
It stated that the exercise was in keeping with the EEDC’s commitment to ensuring that all customers are appropriately metered, but it has been misunderstood by some stakeholders.
According to the EEDC, “These card readers are now only available in a handful of our Service Centers, with most of them malfunctioning. In addition, due to age and obsolescence, these meters are no longer reliable and the vending system is inconvenient to customers. EEDC recently upgraded its billing system and the new system is designed to make customers experience even better. Following our communication to the affected customers, a good number of them subscribed to the new meters which have been installed for them, while the few remaining customers who are yet to get the new meters are affected by this discontinuation.”
The statement reads further; “To address the issues arising from this exercise, EEDC has taken the following steps in implementing this decision.
1. Creation of a dedicated helpline (0815 082 5367) to handle all concerns and enquiries associated with this exercise for efficient operations.
2. Constitution of several teams for each Service Center to ensure timely migration of affected customers to the new prepaid meters.
3. Only the customers on the obsolete standalone meters are affected by this exercise, and they are less than 40,000 in number.
4. For customers that still have unused credit in their meter accounts, these credits will be transferred to their new meter accounts once our team of installers arrive their locations for this exercise.
5. For those who have run out of credit, they are encouraged to call the Helpline immediately and new meters will be promptly installed for them.
6. To address the immediate financial burden on the affected customers, EEDC has undertaken to install new meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme without the requirements for upfront full payment, while the installment repayment will be spread over up to 24 months. MAP is the metering program designed and approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The company expressed the hope that its customers will appreciate their efforts, while assuring them of their continued commitment towards delivering improved services.