by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
This Managing Director of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO), Garba Haruna, on Wednesday disclosed that the company has rolled out a three-year “mass metering” plan for customers across its area of coverage, including Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto states.
The MD further said that all arrangements have been completed to ensure that 80,000 customers secured meters in the next four months, adding that the mass metering policy is in collaboration with the federal government’s directive.
The MD, who disclosed this during a media interactive session on the rationale behind widespread complaints against what many consumers describe as “incredible tariff hike,” said it’s mandatory for every customer to get prepared meter and not optional.
“Any customer that rejects our meter, his or her services shall automatically be withdrawn,” he emphasized.
On the methods for the payment of the meters, he declared that neither upfront payments are expected by customers, nor payment for any equipment either for repair or installation. “We don’t collect money from our customers to install or repair equipment. That is part of our policy.”
Speaking on tariff review, the head of strategy, Mahmud Suleiman, said the minor reviews are done every six months, explaining that the major review takes place between five to ten years, while according to him, the extra ordinary review takes place anytime regulator deems fit.
Suleiman explained further that the company is working hard to ensure increased hours of supply, faster and better resolution of customers’ complaints, and network expansion program in the company’s area of coverage.
Recalled that, Kaduna consumers across board disagreed with what they described as exorbitant and unstable billings from Kaduna Electricity Company for September 2020.
Communities in Ungwar Romi, a suburb, Ugwan Boro in Chickun local government area of Kaduna state, among other areas of the state, showed their displeasure, through protest, saying that the unstable billings is uncalled for, and urged federal government and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to come to their plight.
Residents complained that, “We paid for what we didn’t consume. The cheating is becoming too obvious for everyone to see.”
Some youths, who stormed the Kaduna Electric office, demanded for reversal of what they tagged “exorbitant bills.”
According to the youths, the residential bills for September ranged from N23,000 to 29,000 and N72,000 in some cases, against the normal N1,800 and N9,000, respectively, in previous months.
However, the MD explained that 80 percent of kilowatts of the power consumed in the country comes from gas exploration and are being paid for, adding that cost of tariff was due to the cost of generation, transmission and distribution of energy value chain and, therefore, not intentional.