In furtherance of its resolve to maximize the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme to further deepen its metering programme, BEDC Electricity PLC (BEDC) has received 27 applications for the scheme during which 7 which emerged after screenings are currently going through the financial bid review process.
BEDC it will be recalled, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has the highest metering among the distribution companies in the country, having achieved over 65 per cent metering ot its customers. The NBS Power Sector Report: Energy Generated and Sent Out and Consumed and Load Allocation, said metering data indicates that the Disco with the highest percentage of customer metered, with 69.49% recorded, was BEDC.
Managing Director/CEO, BEDC Electricity Plc, Mrs. Funke Osibodu who gave the progress report on the MAP scheme during a Press Briefing last Wednesday in Benin said those selected from the current financial bid review process will be submitted to the NERC for final clearance in December.
She hinted that the metering of customers under MAP in the company’s franchise areas is expected to commence within the first quarter of 2019, adding “the process will involve customer sensitization, enumeration, location clean-up of electrical wiring, relocation of existing meters, where needed and full metering area by area”.
Mrs. Osibodu disclosed that 390 youth corpers engaged in the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) were being utilized to assist with accelerating the company’s ongoing customer enumeration, noting “this makes BEDC the largest contributor to the NYSC effort. Some of these corpers end being employed by BEDC after their service.”
Enumeration she informed, was currently going on in 18 locations, noting that major challenge remained the issue of ‘customer not at home’, stressing however that customers who were not enumerated would not participate in MAP.
Out of the 18 locations 5 were in Edo State, 9 in Delta state, while Ondo state had 3, and Ekiti State has 1 location respectively.
BEDC had demonstrated its consciousness of the metering gaps existing across its various customer classes and had commenced the process to cover the metering gap for existing customers in its area of operations.
By way of statutory mandate within the MAP regulation, Discos are expected to engage MAPs in order to achieve the metering targets set by law. For the electricity consumers, the MAP regulation means that they will now be able to get electricity meters within 10 days of payment. Consumers need not wait endlessly for free meters anymore and may choose to pay upfront in full or pay in instalments through programmed deductions from payments made for electricity consumption.
The regulatory body equally noted that under the proposed regulation, consumers who reject meters installed at their premises by Discos would be cut off from electricity supplies.