Saturday, November 28, 2020

Prepaid electricity meter distribution begins in the Southwest next week

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Reprieve is underway for electricity users in Ondo State as the free prepaid meter distribution will take off in the Southwest next week.

Spokesman of BEDC in Akure, Mr. Barnabas Michael said the distribution will begin in Oyo State.

Orange FM’s Flora Iweanya reports that the people of Ondo state eagerly await the era when arbitrary billing will stop

xrays the plight of electricity users in the State vis -a -vis the upcoming relief.

President Muhammadu Buhari‘s desire to end estimated billing by electricity distribution companies (DisCos) seems to have found expression in the commencement, on October 30, of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

The programme was kick-started simultaneously in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja DisCos franchise areas.

Six million meters estimated to impact about 30 million electricity consumers are to be rolled out under the scheme, over the next 18 to 24 months.

The meter rollout was part of the deal that organised Labour had with the Federal Government as a condition for suspending the strike called by Labour and its affiliates in September, over the recent simultaneous hike in electricity tariffs and pump price of fuel.

However, Ondo state residents have not started enjoying the benefits of the free meters as the distribution has not commenced in this area.

The public relations officer of BEDC Akure Mr Barnabas said the distribution would be carried out under the National Mass Metering Programme but did not confirm the assurance of it being free.

Some people who were interviewed said the Federal Government must realise that it is not enough to assist the DisCos with the provision of meters but the programme must be well monitored to ensure that the government gets the desired mileage from the scheme.

When consumers pay only for electricity they consume, it would make corrupt stakeholders in the distribution chain to wake up to the reality that the era of free funds from arbitrary billing is over.