Nigeria’s largest electricity distribution company, Ikeja Electric, has said its customers are not getting prepaid meters at the moment as a result of importation, funding and exchange rate constraints.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer, IE, Mr. Anthony Youdeowei, explained that investors did not take into account the current high exchange rate when the privatisation of the power sector was concluded.
According to him, people who question why the electricity distribution companies in the country have not been patronising local meter manufacturers should understand that the firms import the meter components from abroad and also sell at international rates.
Addressing journalists during the week, Youdeowei said, “None of the companies here has a ready supply. They only assemble units according to order and the components have to be ordered from abroad. It takes time to order and get them.
“Prepaid meter is not an easy thing to procure. Our projection at the start of the privatisation was made in good faith. But now, the estimated billing system will have to stay for a while. It will only go away when there are adequate meters.
“But it is our responsibility to make the estimated system as equitable as possible. We have metered the distribution transformers up to 90 per cent.”
He said communities would get better power supply when they exposed residents who use electricity without paying for it and short-changing customers who pay regularly in the process.
Youdeowei also stated that requests for new transformers would require communities to enumerate the residents so that debtors could be identified.