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HomeAbia State DiaryAba Power Gives Out Over 22,000 Prepaid Meters in 6 Months, Pledges...

Aba Power Gives Out Over 22,000 Prepaid Meters in 6 Months, Pledges A More Aggressive Rollout

 

Aba Power Limited, Nigeria’s youngest electricity distribution, has given out over 22,000 smart prepaid meters since last November when it initiated its Mass Metering campaign.

“Much as our stakeholders are satisfied with our speed since we rolled out the programme”, Aba Power managing director, Ugo Opiegbe, told select journalists in Aba today, “we will do much more in the next six months and achieve a far greater target after that”.

It is estimated that meter installation for some 200,000 registered customers in the Aba Ring-fenced Area will cost at least N32 billion.

Aba Power commenced commercial operations in September 2022 and provides electricity to nine of the 17 local government areas (LGAs) in Abia State.

To reduce the financial burden on the power distribution company, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) directed it to work in conjunction with meter vending companies which now charge customers between N129,000 and N147,640.01 for a single-phase meter and N227,207.76 and N241,875 for a three-phase meter, from N88,124 and N154,624 for single-phase and three-phase meters, respectively.

“We regret these increases in these difficult times for the Nigerian people, but they are inevitable because of the depreciating value of the naira against the dollar”, Opiegbe explained.

“The good news is that the customers will recoup the payments over 10 years through electricity credit”.

The power utility executive disclosed that Aba Power is currently working with two meter vendors., though it is considering increasing the number as soon as possible to end the practice of estimated meter readings completely.

“Estimated bills are a no-no to us because it does not encourage accountability and transparency”, Opiegbe stated.

“They do not give confidence to our customers, so they cannot be satisfied”.

He revealed that some of the vendors Aba Power negotiated earlier but couldn’t hire because of issues of quality and integrity may be engaged now because they have made amends and “are willing to meet our standards, which must be international”.

There are unconfirmed reports that some agents of the vending companies were illegally charging money to individuals and businesses. The Aba Power MD declined to comment on the allegation.

The utility is currently working with Holley Metering Ltd and the KAYZ Consortium to install smart prepaid meters to all businesses and individuals in its coverage area.

The Aba Power MD said that his company has 31 feeders, making it difficult to provide smart prepaid meters to the people on all the feeders simultaneously.

“We are providing prepaid meters feeder by feeder”, he stated.

“We have covered four feeders in the last six months, namely, Aba Township, Aba East, Ehi Road, and the World Bank.

“We are about to start on the fifth feeder, and our chairman, Professor Bart Nnaji, has asked us always to prioritize manufacturing firms because they are the foremost group that brought Geometric Power to Aba, a key industrial city.

“We give them priority so that they can reduce the cost of doing business, which will, in turn, make their products more affordable and thus benefit the common man”.

 

Dike Ejike, an engineer and electricity consultant in Enugu, commended Aba Power for giving priority to industrialists.

 

 

“Manufacturers are going through a rough phase in Nigeria, and they must be encouraged to retain their staff, otherwise their collapse will have a cataclysmic effect on not just the economy but Nigerian society as a whole”.

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