By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday said it has commenced probe into the level of implementation of the Credit Advance Payment for Meter Installation (CAPMI) in Lagos State.
The companies are: Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) and the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (Eko Disco), two distribution companies that service Lagos residents.
According to the Commission, the probe was necessitated by the zeal to ensure a corrupt free electricity industry in the country, therefore has barred electricity companies from making profits from the CAPMI Scheme.
A statement by the Head, Public Affairs, NERC, Christy Iliya quoted the Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi as saying that the exercise was part of a nationwide fact finding visit to distribution companies aimed at verifying the extent of the implementation of the Credit Advance Payment for Meter Installation (CAPMI) and how far the Discos had gone in metering customers.
According to the statement, Amadi who was represented by a Commissioner at the Commission, Engr Mary Awoloku stressed that customers who were willing to advance money for meters should be allowed to do so, noting that such customers must compulsorily be metered within 45 days, while the money would later be refunded.
He said, “Customers subscribing to the CAPMI scheme are to be provided meters within a stipulated time frame (maximum of 45 days from date of payment). The advance-payment customers are repaid by the Disco over time through reduction in the amount billed for the fixed charge. For instance, if the customer will pay N300 per month for fixed charge instead of the N500 provided for in the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) until the advance is fully repaid. The customer will also be entitled to a return on the amount advanced. Such a return shall be applied by appropriately extending the period of reduction of the fixed charge duration of repayment, and this will depend on the cost of the respective meter and the amount of reduction in the fixed charge.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), Mr Abiodun Ajifowobaje, pledged to install smart pre-paid meters to consumers within three years.
Since taking over in November 2013, he said the firm had installed about 4,256 meters to customers, a figure described as too low by NERC.
“NERC is not happy with Ikeja Disco for not embracing CAPMI. The number of meters so far installed is very negligible,” Amadi said.
But the IKEDC CEO noted: “IKEDC has reached a working arrangement with an international acclaimed communication infrastructure, energy management and accounting company to manage our metering operations with local input. Kick off date will be first quarter of 2015. Monthly roll out will be 10, 000 non-MD meters and 45 MD customers.”