Aba Power, Nigeria’s 13th and newest electricity distribution company, has warned customers not to pay even a kobo higher than N63.061.32 and N117,910.69 for single-phase and three-phase meters respectively.
The warning became necessary following the surge in the number of people demanding the meters in nine out of the 17 local government areas in Abia State where Aba Power provides electric power, its managing director, Patrick Umeh, has explained.
“We have enough for every customer who wants a meter in his residence or industry or hospital or laboratory or office”, he said in a statement today.
“We have 5,000 meters in the first instance, and we are going to replenish the stock when this batch is exhausted by 60%.
“There is, therefore, no need for any person to pay even a kobo higher for either the single-phase meter or the three-phase meter”.
He advised any customer desirous of acquiring a prepaid meter to visit any of the company’s offices in Abia for prompt attention.
The electricity chief noted that neither Aba Power nor its staff members can charge an amount higher than the officially approved rates.
Umeh revealed that the company carried out an investigation on getting reports that some persons were giving bribes to undisclosed electricians to obtain prepaid meters and discovered that the allegations are false.
Still, he said, reports of malpractices by some unscrupulous elements “cannot be ruled out with a cavalier wave of the hand”, asking persons with information on malpractices in the Aba Ringed-fence Area to report it to the company or any of the security agencies.
He recalled that in the past some roadside electricians were posing to be on the Aba Power staff and extorted money from innocent people eager to pay monthly bills.
“Unethical and exploitative practices cannot be condoned in a company founded by a globally reputable engineer and academic, Professor Bart Nnaji, who has been the Minister of Science and Technology as well as the Minister of Power”, he declared.
“In fact, Prof Nnaji has been insistent that it is unfair to ask Nigerian people to pay estimated electricity bills because such payments cannot make for transparency and accountability.
“No responsible organization can afford to be seen as fleecing or exploiting its customers, the very persons it should be serving”.
Umeh, who used to be a commissioner at the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) after leaving the Los Angeles Water and Light Corporation in the United States, assured electricity customers in the nine LGAs of Abia State of prepaid meters days after payment.
He explained that Aba Power is working with Holley Metering Ltd, certified by NERC as a foremost company in the electric sector, to install the meters.
“We have various Technical Teams ready to visit every customer and assess the electricity needs to determine whether the single-phase meter or the three-phase meter is appropriate for the person or organization”, he said.
“Once payment is made, the right meter will be installed, and the customer may not pay anything again for the next 36 months; the person or firm will receive without payment electricity equivalent to the amount of money paid for the meter supplied”.
He added that despite being Nigeria’s newest electricity distribution firm, having begun operation only last February, Aba Power is set to be the first electricity distribution firm in the country to provide meters to all its customers