Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC), says it has installed prepaid meters for 9,861 customers in Gombe State from January to June.
Dr Adakole Elijah, JEDC’s Head of Corporate Communications, who stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Saturday, said the company registered 77, 291 active customers in the state.
Elijah said that 88, 000 customers in the company’s franchise areas of Benue, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe States were being metered.
He said that 54, 725 customers of the 88, 000 had been metered in the franchise areas as at July 23.
The metering scheme, he said, was being executed by the different vendors in the field in its franchise areas, noting that: “the result we are getting is impressive.”
JEDC’s official said that customers were agitating for metering because meter was the only tool for measuring energy consumption and “we are investing heavily on meters; before the year runs out more customers would be metered.’’
On complaints by customers yet to be metered, Elijah said: “our customers should remain where they are, our staff will come and get them profiled before metering.
“We cannot do everybody the same time because we will not be able to manage that based on our previous experience.
“If meters have not reached our customers in their communities; they should exercise patience, everybody is going to get metered.
“We have enough meters and these meters are free of charge.’’
Elijah also identified vandalism as a challenge to the company’s operations, adding that there were efforts to end it.
“No fewer than 29 incidences of vandalism and theft of transformer oil and accessories were recorded in Gombe in six months, ” he said.
He said JEDC had been getting the necessary support from communities in terms of reporting cases of vandalism which had led to the arrest of suspected vandals.
“In this regard, we have secured two convictions in Gombe as part of efforts towards ending vandalism and other sabotage in the franchise area,” he said.
Elijah further revealed that customers in Gombe owed over N455 million within the past six months, excluding the debts of those being metered who were expected to offset them later.
He, therefore, appealed to the customers to pay their outstanding debts, stressing that the company’s policy on debt payment was flexible and accommodates instalment repayments by customers.