Engineers seek solution to metering problems
Worried by public outcry over the issue of metering in Nigeria, engineers under the umbrella of Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) have called for immediate solution to the problem.
This was coming at the heels of new plans by the Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) to address issues bordering on metering in the sector.
Speaking at a workshop organized by the NSE Apapa branch, in Lagos, Assistant General Manager, Networks and Engineering Standards, Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, disclosed the commission’s effort to save the situation by setting up a committee to investigate fraudulent activities with regard to metering.
Gidari-Wudil, who spoke at the event themed: ‘Effective Metering in Nigeria: A Win-Win Approach’, said only 46 per cent of customers of distribution companies (Discos) are metered and only three Discos have metered up to 50 per cent of their customers.
The workshop attracted discussants from Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Nigeria Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers among others.
According to Gidari-Wudil, it will take 20 years to close the metering gap, he said, adding that gap and losses were part of reasons for privatisation of the power distribution sector, as customers were made to pay for meters by NEPA/PHCN without getting them.
To achieve the win-win approach, NSE Vice President, Zedomi Tunde, on his part, said both the distributor and consumer should understand that electricity is no longer a social entity that is for free.
He stressed the need for proper evaluation of the controversy over estimated bill.
According to him, the methodology adopted by distribution companies to mount meters on the electric poles is not the best approach to resolve issue of electricity theft.
He therefore, urged power distribution companies to device a means to address the issue of metering.
For a representative Nigerian Institution Of Electrical And Electronic Engineers(NIEEE), Akan Michael, the issue of bogus bill. requires attitudinal change of customers.
“Customers by-pass electricity, which brings inaccuracy in reading the meter,” he added.
Speaking at the workshop, chairman of NSE, Apapa branch, Ombugadu Garba, called on independent bodies to take up the responsibility of testing the meters instead of Meter assessment provider (MAP) has failed ab initio “customers are complaining of the speed reading of the meter and the inaccuracy of the meter.