BEDC meters 25% of target customers under NNMP

BEDC Electricity Plc (BEDC) has so far installed over 25per cent of its 90,870 meters target for customers under the first phase of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), which is to be concluded in the next three months.

This was made known in a communique issued at the end of a Town Hall meeting on “ Facilitating metering and Combating Electricity Theft in BEDC states” organized by Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN) held last Thursday at the Thames Event Centre, Benin, Edo state.

According to the communique, at the town hall meeting attended by critical electricity sector stakeholders, BEDC said it was implementing the NNMP in its four franchise states of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo with a view to eliminating estimated billing and is targeted unmetered customers over a period of six months.

“BEDC is now installing meters on the pole for customers in Bands A, B, and C, as the initial focus to curtail energy theft and meter bypass, while the company has also began community metering where transformers of over 600 communities have been metered so far”, the communique said.

The communique while noting growing joint efforts by communities in combating electricity theft in the BEDC coverage areas, noted that metering under NNMP is free, hence customers do not have to pay, while BEDC and industry stakeholders can sue and be sued on accounts of electricity theft and consumer rights violation.

“The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is carrying out electricity consumer education and interfacing between customers and Discos for complaints resolution” the communique further said.

Among the challenges being confronted by BEDC during the NNMP installation process, the communique said, included meter tampering, rejection of meters by some customers, aggressive and violent customer behavior and extortion of some customers by some unscrupulous agents for meter installation and procurement.

The communique quoted BEDC to have assured that corrupt staff members of being punished, while the company urged electricity customers approached by its agents for the purpose of extortion should utilize BEDC’s whistle blowing channels to report such electricity theft and corrupt acts.

The company assured stakeholders that it would immediately launch investigations into allegations of customer extortion over meter installation and procurement.

 



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