Meter bypass, energy theft rampant in Lekki —EKEDC

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Mr. Adeoye Fadeyibi, at a Customers Engagement Town Hall Meeting held on Friday, July 6th stated that the company was recording huge revenue losses in Lekki due to meter bypass and energy theft.

According to Fadebiyi, amongst electricity consumers in the Lekki area, Lagos, only 11,000 out of 30,000 electricity consumers recharge their prepaid meters monthly. He said “When you look at the other 19,000 customers not vending, this has resulted into loss of revenue to the company which has affected our operations,’’.

The EKEDC boss has warned that the company is seriously investigating this issue and will soon reveal the identities of those that were not recharging their meters. He, however, advised customers to expose those bypassing their meters and engaging in energy theft in their areas. “Help EKEDC to protect revenue, expose energy theft and those that are bypassing our meters. Do not encourage or support any encroachment on our facilities. “We promise to commit anything we can to continue to improve services to your communities,” the EKEDC boss said.

He added that the tariff approved by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was not enough to meter all customers. According to him, the company retains less than 25 percent of what it collects from customers monthly. “But in spite of this challenge, we are gradually installing meters – community by community. “What we do is to first install meters in the transformer that supplies the area before giving houses their meters,” he said.

Fadeyibi said the Federal Government through NERC had brought in Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) to provide meters for unmetered consumers. He urged customers within Lekki and its environs to wait patiently for the commencement of the operations of MAPs.
He also advised them to expose any of the company’s personnel involved in sharp practices, and that the EKEDC would deal with such a staff.

Fadeyibi said the company would welcome criticisms that would enable its staff work more efficiently. “We will continue to improve on the supply to our customers while ensuring that we get the returns,” he said. Earlier, one of the leaders of the community, Oba Tijani Akinloye, commended the management of EKEDC for organizing the forum to listen to its customers. Akinloye said the customers in his community were not enjoying the services of EKEDC, and that they were ready to pay for electricity if the supply was available.

The traditional leader said that he spent over N2 million on diesel alone in June due to an epileptic power supply. He urged the company to improve on its services as his people were fed up with estimated Billings by EKEDC. Also, Mr. Kayode Otitoloju, the Chairman, Lekki-Peninsula Residents Association, said most of the transformers servicing the area were installed in 1991 when there were only 3,000 houses. Otitoloju said the houses which had risen to over 10,000 were using the same transformers now leading to overloading and frequent breakdowns. He said that consequently, the residents get only eight hours of electricity daily, which was inadequate for consumers.

He appealed to the management of EKEDC to give the customers prepaid meters, saying that there was no justification for estimated bills.

Source: Energy News