The Federal Government in collaboration with Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) on Friday flagged off the distribution of free meters to customers under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Adeoye Fadeyibi, Managing Director, EKEDC, flagged off the programme at the Orile/Ijora Districts in Surulere area of Lagos State.
Fadeyibi said that free single and three phase meters would be installed for 100, 000 EKEDC customers in the first phase of the NMMP initiated by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
According to him, the move is to bridge the metering gap in the country which stands at 59.6 per cent.
He said the programme was being supported by the Lagos State Government and meter manufacturers, Mojec Asset Management Company Limited and Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited.
Fadeyibi said : “The mass metering programme is a welcome development and a boost to the deepening of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
“The programme couldn’t have come at a better time than now given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and household income.
“We are happy for the initiative and acknowledge government’s renewed desire to improve the power supply and bridge the metering gap.
“Electricity as we all know is an important essential need of any society and we all have acknowledged the menace of the estimated billing both on the customers and even us as a business.
“ It is my belief that with this mass metering initiative we can begin to say we are on a path to better days ahead.
“In the next 18 to 24 months, over six million meters will be distributed across households in the country and for us at Eko, we will be rolling out over 100,000 meters in the next few weeks in the first phase of the programme.’’
He said that all hands must be on deck to support the industry in stamping out energy theft through meter tampering and free riders.
Fadeyibi said the EKEDC would continue to strive to render better services to customers under its operational network and solicited for their support in actualising the objective.
Also, Mr Olalere Odusote, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said the government has been working with the DisCos to ensure that the whole of Lagos was metered by the end of the current administration.
Odusote, however, enjoined the people to pay for energy consumed, noting that this would prevent shortfall in the NESI for the benefit of all stakeholders.
On her part, Ms Chantelle Abdul, Managing Director, Mojec Asset Management Company Limited, said the programme would create jobs for Nigerian youths and keep them off the street.
Two community leaders who spoke, Mr Gabriel Omotosho and Mr Awila Banigo, commended the government and EKEDC for initiating the programme.
According to them, the initiative will put an end to disputes caused by estimated billings.