By Festus Ahon
THE Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, has flagged off the Meter Asset Provider, MAP in Delta State, rolling out smart prepaid meters scheme for its customers in the State, with a promise to provide 200, 000 units in two years.
Speaking at the Media Launch of the MAP scheme in Asaba, the Executive Director, BEDC, Mr Abu Ejoor, said with the commencement of the exercise with its parties, the Inlaks Solution Limited, G-Unit Engineering Ltd and Turbo Energy Ltd, MAP is expected to carry out better roll out at locations, routes, and streets with enumerators.
Saying enumeration is a prerequisite for meters to be provided, he said it would enable them to achieve the main objective of MAP regulations by Nigeria Electricity Commission, NERC, which according to him, is to provide standard rules with their five points goal.
Ejoor said; “the whole essence of this briefing is to inform our customers that we are set to meet their prepaid meters need. And further, allay the fears of our customers and encourage them to enjoy electricity without tears.
“This so, because the main objectives of this prepaid meters scheme are to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services in Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry, NESI. Secondly, It also will help to eliminate billing practices that are not tuned with International best practices.
“Thirdly, and most importantly, is that this scheme also helps to attract private sector investment for the provisions of metering services in NESI; it also closes the metering gap through accelerated roll-out also in NESI, and lastly, it enhances revenue assurances as well.”
He said “our customers are required to complete the customer data and the survey form, thereafter the MAP official will assess the customer’s premises readiness for metering.
“After a satisfactory verification to ascertain the right cables and wires are in place, , a customer will then be advised on how to pay, which must be through the bank the designated bank accounts; whether a one-phase or three-phase meter will be suitable for the building. On confirmation of payment from the bank teller provided by our customer, the prepaid meters will be installed in ten days.
“Our major challenges remain transmission problems, which has severally hampered our ability to receive power for onward sales to our customers across Delta North and Warri, as recorded 126 outages in the state in September alone.
“The limitations of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and bottlenecks have been of a major worry for, especially in Asaba, Efurun, Afesere and Oghara.”