By Udeme Akpan
The Integrated Resources Limited, IRL, a leading metering company, weekend, disclosed that it has provided prepaid meters to over 33,000 customers in Lagos, Ibadan and Kaduna since its inception.
The company said while it has fully installed over 30,000 meters in Ibadan and Kaduna, over 3,000 customers were provided with meters in Lagos, adding that a few customers, who have not yet been metered for one reason or another in Lagos would be metered as their issues were being resolved.
Chief Executive Officer, Integrated Resources Management Limited, Durosola Omogbenigun, who disclosed this in a statement, stated: “IRL has metered over 3,000 customers (covering both Orile and Festac Business District). We have just a few outstanding customers to be metered.
“We have records of customers that were metered within the 10-day timeline set by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, which is the regulatory body.”
On efforts targeted at completing the metering process in the areas, he stated: “We are making efforts to provide meters to customers, whose payments have been verified. Some of the yet-to-be-metered customers are customers who paid with either wrong depositor’s name or/and without including their Meter Asset Provider, MAP identification, which makes it difficult to identify them.”
He also explained that the meters for Eko under Orile/Festac fell under the NERC MAP scheme, stressing, “Based on the wide metering gap as identified by NERC and the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry, the government implemented a metering scheme known as MAP, which enables the customer to pay upfront for his meter.
“The major challenge in the provision of meters to customers is largely identifying some customers that made payments for meters, especially because most of the customers yet to be metered did not provide clear payment details, thus making it difficult for them to be identified.
“Due to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s economy, sourcing meters and meter components was very challenging to local manufacturers, but this was later addressed.”
The managing director who noted that the situation has improved in the past few months, stated: “We have reached an agreement to secure meters from a major local manufacturer, and do the installation in batches to ensure this gap is closed out as soon as possible.
ALSO READ: Malami’s defence of Buhari’s veto triggers outrage
“In all of this, we have put a plan in place to meter our outstanding customers (especially the identified ones) on a weekly basis, and to close out in batches, of course, our priority is mostly Orile customers.
“While working to meet customers’ expectations, we will continue to keep them informed about the progress made to avoid rumour-mongering and misinformation as we remain committed to delivering.”
He also stated: “We have also made several repayments whenever customers come forward to demand a refund. IRL does not negotiate our customer’s satisfaction with levity; hence we like to assure the public that we are transparent, fair, just and accountable. We also apologise for the delay in the installation of meters for those affected customers. IRL is a very professional and responsible organization that was engaged for participation in the metering programme, purely on merit, not friendship or other considerations.”
“Contrary to speculation occasioned by misinformation, the managing director who noted that the office of the company remains open physically and online, added that the success of the company is built on professionalism, not the abuse of personal relationships with persons.
“The managing director of IRL and managing director of Eko Distribution Company, EKEDC are not friends, but rather share a professional relationship where the latter is superior and principal to the former.”
“We have no such relationship. For instance, in the NMMP programme implemented subsequent to the MAP, IRL got an allocation of less than a thousand meters whereas other companies got tens of thousands of meters.
“We got the least allocation from the Disco.
“Our office located in Lagos was never deserted, instead due to few required operations, our personnel work remotely.
“They only visit the office physically when the need arises. All payments were made from customers through the company’s account as indicated on our company invoice, the means of payment through physical cash was never allowed and does not align with our regulator’s policy. IRL commends the efforts of NERC and DISCOs on metering, and will continue to partner to aid the implementation of the metering scheme.
“Let me assure our principal (Eko Electricity Distribution Company) and our esteemed customers (the few customers who are yet to get their meters), that we are doing our utmost best to ensure your meters are installed. Also, customers who are yet to get their meters and have paid to us should send their payment proof via email to [email protected]”
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.