The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) says it has installed about 76,000 meters across its franchise area and has procured another 60,000 for installation.
The Managing Director/CEO of the company, Engr Ernest Mupwaya disclosed this shortly after commissioning the Kabusa Service Centre in Abuja on Tuesday.
The building for the centre which was donated by the community was renovated at the cost of N2.2 million through funding from Power Africa and USAID.
Mupwaya noted that it will take the utility about four years to install 600,000 meters needed by its customers.
He however assured consumers that AEDC would get every customer metered in due course.
He said: “We do recognize that metering is very important to our business because it brings in transparency in the way we conduct our business. The customers get satisfied because the technology had been tested in the use of cell where if a customer buys units they are able to control usage and match with level of affordability.
“The metering in our company, like any other company has faced some challenges. For example, in the movement of foreign exchange rate from the time we took over the exchange rate moved from N165 to over N500 per dollar.
“That automatically mean that the budget for meters was hugely affected. However, we are still on course. We have so far installed 76,000 meters and we have procured additional 60,000 meters and we are on record that our mass metering has commenced.
“We are busy looking at creative ways in which we can finance the metering gap which is between 500,000 and 600, 000 customers. We are on course and we will be able to catch up because there are certain interventions being done in the sector to minimize the negative impact of the foreign exchange movement which has affected not just meters but other capital expenditures such as transformers and improvement in the network”, he stated.
On improving local content of the metering programme, he explained that the sector has a huge metering gap but in “our own case, we are keying into the local content to the extent that majority of meters are from local suppliers. Having said that it doesn’t mean that local content is not affected by foreign exchange. You may be aware that the vital components that go into manufacturing of those meters are imported therefore there is an escalation of cost when there is foreign exchange movement”.
Mupwaya urged customers to pay their bills as that is the only way investments to improve supply can be achieved.
“If the service is not paid for there will be no resources to ensure the continuous provision of the service. As much as we do not like disconnecting at times it becomes a necessary evil to ensure that customers pay for the energy they have consumed”, he added.
He explained that provision of customer service centres is to ensure that the utility firm is closer to its customers and able to address challenges at local levels.
He stated that customers expect a lot from the utility firm and meeting those expectation is critical to satisfying them and motivating them to pay for energy.
“We believe that if we do that we will get more cooperation from customers, there will be more willingness to pay and if there is more willingness to pay we will be able to generate more revenue which we can plough back into our improvement programme”.
Speaking earlier at the Palace of Esu Kabusa, he thanked the monarch and the community for donating the building to AEDC and assured them that the firm will continue to improve on its services to the area.
The Esu, HRH Esu Johanna thanked the company for their services, noting that the community was satisfied with power supply to them, as they get more than neighbouring communities.