• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Aba Power begins free house metering programme in Abia

Ikeja, Abuja DisCos to lead meter installation drive for Band ‘A’ customers

Aba Power Limited Electric (APLE), an electricity distribution company (DISCO), covering nine Local Government Areas of Abia State, including Aba Metropolis, the commercial hub, has started free mass metering of houses and offices as a way of providing meters for customers in the ring fenced area, who curently do not have meters.

The programme, which is sponsored by Geometric Power Group’s chairman, Bart Nnaji, a professor and former Minister of Power,
is ongoing, starting with towship feeder and will extend to all areas serviced by Aba Power with time, according to Chijioke Ogbodo, the firm’s public relations manager.

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He however, advised customers, who cannot wait until the exercise gets to their areas, to apply under the Federal Government’s Meter Asset Provider (MAP) programme and make the necessary payment, noting that once the payment is made and application is processed, meter would be installed for them within days.

Innocent Nwokocha, coordinator, Geometric Power Situation Room, explained that the Federal Government since 2014 had provided well over ₦7 trillion to other DISCOs in form of MAP assistance before Aba Power came on board, saying the company (Aba Power) did not benefit from the provision.

He stated that the best approach to avoid cheating either from the energy service provider or the customers is to install prepaid meters across board.

He said that Aba Power has 30 feeders under its jurisdiction in the 9 LGAs under its control in Abia State, namely, Aba North, Aba South, Osisioma, Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Isiala Ngwa South, Isiala Ngwa North, Ukwa East and Ukwa West.

“Subject to the obsolete nature of present meters inherited, as well as in consideration of the current metering gap, the cost was calibrated and it will take the system well over ₦30 billion to make this provision in the present.

“It is key to note that the system paid off Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to the tune of $26.5 million in assets and liabilities to finally gain control of these 9 LGAs, which of course is a huge chunk”, he said.

He said that the system had to start with the township feeder and subsequently cover the entire ring fence.

For Landlords and Tenants arrangement on prepaid meters, Nwokocha said that the cost of the prepaid meter on purchase agreement is divided into 36 months, say for instance ₦88,000÷36 months = ₦2444.44

“The ₦2,444:44 kobo is credited to the customer each month when he or she makes new recharge. This will continue till the end of the 36 months. If after installation of prepaid meter, you recharge ₦2000, you will be given additional ₦2444:44 kobo leaving the total balance at ₦4444:44 kobo.

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“This will require good understanding between the landlord and the tenant in the sense that the prepaid meter is still free, but is deductible on a monthly basis.

“The landlord should provide for it as it is one of the conditions precedent or required by law for a tenant to park into a conducive facility, but where the landlord does not have the capacity to do so, the tenant can provide with a distinct agreement attached,” he said.