The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has commenced installation of free metres to its customers in Abakaliki under the Federal Government (FG) National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).
Mr Emeka Ezeh, Head of Communication, EEDC told our correspondent in an interview in Abakaliki on Friday that the metering exercise was free and designed to capture all eligible customers of the company in the state.
He added that households that illegally connected to the grid would not benefit from the free metering programme.
“Households that are enjoying our services but are not in our book, those ones cannot expect to be metred because we don’t even know that they exist until we find them out and bring them into our billing platform.
“But, the good news is that the National Mass Metering Programme which is what we have ongoing currently is an initiative of the federal government designed to close the metering gap we have in the network.
“That is to say that every customer that is not metred is expected to be metred during this programme,” Ezeh said.
He explained that Ebonyi was part of the areas the company is covering noting that EEDC as a distribution company is saddled with the responsibility of covering the five South-East states of Enugu; Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra and Abia states.
He said that every customer within these states that was not metred would benefit from the free metering exercise but added that the exercise would be done in phases.
“The exercise is not something that will start in a day and end in a day; it is a process that is ongoing and until we cover the grounds we will not rest,” he added.
He said to effectively fund the project, the FG had gone along to advance a loan through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the distribution companies to acquire the metres.
“We are collecting loan from the CBN and the loan is expected to be serviced by the distribution companies (Discos) .
“The loan initiative is a way of supporting the discos to address this aspect of their operations that is posing a big challenge,” he said.
Ezeh further explained that the programme has captured 92000 customers in the first phase which began in January.
“We have metred 92000 customers in phase zero which is the first phase of the programme using two of our districts, Oguiyi and Abakpa districts as pilots.
“We selected some feeders from these districts and used them as pilots and having concluded with the pilots districts, we moved to other areas and that is why we are now in Abakaliki.
“We have six feeders that we have carried out pre-survey and metering is ongoing in these areas; it is a project we are excited about and will want to see succeed,” he noted.
Ezeh said appealed to customers to report any EEDC official that demand gratification from them to install metre reiterating that both the metre and its installation were free.