Metering of all households impossible – KAEDCO
Despite consistent intense pressure mounted on electricity Distribution Company, DISCO, to ensure completion of metering of every household in Nigeria to avoid fracas emanating from estimated billings, the company said doing so is impossible. Head of Communications, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, KAEDCO, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, who was interviewed on phone, told our correspondent that metering all households was not part of the arrangement undertaken when the company was acquired.
The spokesman of KAEDCO in-charge of Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi and Katsina states, respectively, said, “There is no date; I can’t e tell you that every resident in Kaduna will get pre-paid meter. We have meter, but it’s for deployment plan, and we are going to do it in phases because they are not enough.
“In fact, is not even possible, because by the regulation or agreement we signed when taking over the company was to meter only 100,000 houses per year, and that would be done for five years for 500,000 houses, which is not equal to the numbers of houses in Kaduna yet.
“If in 2016, we are able to meter 500,000 houses in Kaduna, it’s fine, which cannot even go for Kaduna with over 6million on population. I don’t think DISCO can even do this in the whole country,” he said.
Abdulazeez said, out of the money realised, only 24% goes to their coffers, while the remaining amount belongs to generating and transmission companies. “You know, privatization has taken place and distribution and generation companies are no longer owned by government. It means that for us in the distribution arms of the chain, have to buy this energy from transmission company and sell it to public or communities, and we don’t have any respite for anybody than to pay for the energy before you even connect it,” he said.
Abdulazeez also said the new reality is that anybody, who used power have to pay for it. “And we have been authorized by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Council, NERC, to legitimately disconnect those, who could not pay, and that is why those communities were disconnected. We’ve to pay about nearly N3 billion every month to buy power that we distribute to consumers in states under our coverage,” he stressed.
The cumulative effect and impression had been that the leadership of Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, has failed to meet the general demand and yearnings of Nigerian consumers.