Akowonjo, Ipaja residents seek speedy installation of meters
It was a near rowdy scene at the weekend when Ikeja Electric (IE) took its Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme sensitization to Akowonjo business unit. Community leaders and customers of the electricity distribution company in Akowonjo, Ipaja, Ayobo, Egbeda and environs had converged at Gowon Estate to express their misgivings about the process for metering and ongoing concerns with estimated billing.
Turn after turn, the aggrieved customers protested against purchase of the prepaid meters, which IE had contracted out to a South African firm, CONLOG Meter Solution Nigeria. For many, their grouse was that the earlier meter rollout was given free to customers while under the MAP scheme, customers will be required to pay for the single or three-phase meters.
Others also raised concerns about the process of transiting from the analogue meter to the digital prepaid with an escalating amount of unpaid bills, which they termed estimated bills.
Calming nerves, chairman, Community Development Committee (CDC), Agbado Oke-Odo, Comrade Adebayo Alaye, said the MAP sceme was a welcome development. “We have been yearning for prepaid meters for a long time, this is a good development. Though they came very late, but there is no problem. We customers are going to gain from the scheme because estimated billing will stop.
“If you are being told to pay N40,000 for a meter, in the next one year, you will gain your money back instead of estimated billing. Somebody given an estimated billing of N7,000 in 10 months will pay more than N70,000 but with prepaid meter you can consume N2,500 or N3,000 if you can manage your electricity usage. This means in the same period, you would have spent N30,000 and recovered the N40,000 spent on getting a prepaid.”
Acting Chief Commercial Officer, IE, Mr. Ugochukwu Obi-Chukwu, said: “We are activating MAP in Akowonjo business unit, which is one of the most important business units in Ikeja Electric. Akowonjo is one of the fastest growing location in Lagos where we have most of our residential customers.
“The idea behind MAP is to ensure all of our unmetered customers are metered. We are confident all customers in Akonwojo will be metered within the next two years. Now customers can begin to pay exactly for what they consume and we hope to see reduction in collection losses. I will advise customers to avoid meter bypass.”
General Manager, CONLOG Meter Solution Nigeria, Mrs. Elungile Mzimba, said they would be metering Akowonjo and Abule Egba areas of Lagos for the next three years. She advised those making payment to ensure the depositor’s name is the same as the customer name on the meter to avoid hassles and delay in installation.Peace begins with a smile..
No comments yet