The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, IKEDC, is to roll out 500,000 electricity pre-paid meters to customers in the next three years.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Abiodun Ajifowobaje, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday.
He said that the installation would commence by December.
According to the CEO, IKEDC will ensure effective metering of customers currently without meters to stop estimated billing.
He told NAN that the company was faced with challenges of adequate meters and insufficiency of energy from the national grid.
He, however, said that IKEDC was working out modalities for a lasting solution to the problems.
Mr. Ajifowobaje explained that the company had established a customers’ forum in all its business units.
He said the forum would enable IKEDC to interact with its customers on their electricity challenges with a view to finding solutions.
The CEO said that the IKEDC was currently receiving from 350 megawatts to 450 megawatts of electricity instead of a daily energy supply of 1,250 megawatts from the national grid.
“I am, however, happy to report that IKEDC is involved in talks with several partners to explore supply from embedded power generation, independent power projects and other sources, to improve supply.
“We are equally working on a robust metering model that will promote transparency in billing and eradicate energy theft to improve power supply to customers.
“To date, the company has installed over 5,000 pre-paid meters to customers at no cost since we took over the company,” he said.
Mr. Ajifowabaje said that obsolete and malfunctioning meters would also be replaced, adding that the company had made significant progress to ensure a robust metering system that would enhance accuracy in billing.
The IKEDC boss said that additional security features would be included in the new pre-paid meters to counter the activities of those tampering with the meters illegally.
“Our first phase plan is to ensure that about 300,000 pre-paid meters are rolled out by December while the others will be installed to replace faulty ones in the next three years.
On vandalism, Mr. Ajifowobaje decried the spate of the menace on the company’s installations.
He said the IKEDC board had invested over N1 billion on the rehabilitation of vandalised transformers, replacement of overhead conductors, completion of abandoned distribution projects and reduction of estimated billing issues.
According to him, IKEDC had also centralised its billing system and introduced the Automatic Meter Reading system to drive accuracy and remote access to meters for efficiency and effective monitoring.
“We have injected about N1billion to improve electricity supply through the completion of ongoing network expansion and rehabilitation projects within its network.”
The IKEDC boss said that about 40 vandalised transformers had been repaired and installed to boost electricity supply while about 115 abandoned transformer projects were almost completed in its various sites.