Owerri – The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says the delay in supply of prepaid meters to electricity consumers in the South-East is because the company is taking measures to avoid cloning by counterfeiters.
Mr Tope Aborishade, the Deputy Managing Director, EEDC, gave the explanation while responding to questions from newsmen after a customers’ forum held by the company on Wednesday in Owerri.
He said all non-maximum demand electricity consumers in the zone would be supplied the prepaid meters, adding that a survey on the number required had been completed by the company.
“EEDC engaged metre manufacturing companies to produce prepaid meters but discovered that some features to checkmate some forms of cloning and theft were lacking in the equipment and the company decided to take care of the deficiency.’’
He said electricity customers in the five South-Eastern states of Abia, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra, being covered by the company, would received their prepaid meters.
Aborishade said that the company was happy that electricity supply in the area had improved significantly since May due to stability in gas supply to electricity generation firms.
“Since May, we have witnessed stability in electricity supply because gas supply to electricity generation companies has been stable and that has also resulted in some level of increase in the bills given to customers,’’ he said.
The EEDC official said the company intended to review its tariff by creating more tariff sub-classes, noting that the motive was to sub-divide electricity consumers into more groups.
“Review of tariff is more than upward or downward turn; we are looking at possibility of creating more sub-classes so that customers are not grouped together, thereby experiencing difficulty in getting tariff that will be appropriate to a given group.
“If you look at our residential customers, we intend to create two more groups so that we can find a way to reduce the fixed charge for some of them to meet the demand by Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission.’
Aborishade said the forum was to create a platform for customers to make an input and the company hoped to come out with a more acceptable tariff.
On a submission made by a participant from Umudioka, Orlu area of Imo that EEDC workers were responsible for tampering with facilities in their area, Aborishade said that the company was recording many cases of vandalism.
“We are recording a lot of cases of our transformers being vandalised and criminals siphoning the transformer oil which resulted in the demand of the equipment.
“We have this problem going on and it is disrupting the quality of service by our company and we are not sparing any of the culprits apprehended because that is the only way to stem the tide of people stealing EEDC facilities.’’(NAN)