By Prince Okafor
Amidst concerns over electricity theft across the country, management of Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc, KEDCO, has advanced its customer enumeration project, enlisting about 500,000 into its data base. The company’s spokesperson, Mohammed Kandi, told Vanguard that though the figure is a huge jump from 200,000 it inherited from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, the management had planned to have about one million customers in its data base by end of 2016, if not for some technical hitches it encountered during the exercise.
He said Kano Disco has about four million potential customers most of which are not known to the Disco due to the old system under which most electricity consumers are unanimous. He explained that the project was designed to forge a wholesome relationship between electricity services consumers and the service provider so as to provide effective exchange of value.
He stated: ‘‘It’s a way to go for us, it’s a must thing for us to do, the more customers we have on our data base, we need to know them, they need to know us, we don’t want to operate the other way round, the way it used to be, where consumers know the supplier but the supplier does not know the consumer. ‘‘As it is now, we have more consumers on our network than customers.
Everyone have electricity in their homes but invariably they are not our customers. They enjoy free electricity, energy theft is so high. This was the legacy left behind by Power Holding Companies of Nigeria, PHCN. ‘‘We are trying our best to see how we can close the gaps. We are moving very fast with the system. ‘‘All customers are important to carter for, we need to enumerate all of our customers, the earlier we do that the better for us and that’s what we are doing right now.”
On metering controversies Kandi stated: ‘‘Metering is a problem to the entire Nigeria DISCOs. At a point in time, the statistic they rolled out was that there are almost 5million metering gap. This is a job that all the DISCOs have to do. In Kano, right now we are deploying meters, and we are actually deploying free meters to our customers.”