Bypassing of Electric Meters Will Become A Thing of The Past – Ajifowobaje
Mr. Abiodun Ajifowobaje is the Managing Director of Ikeja Electric. In this interview, he speaks about the state of the company’s network, its metering programme and other issues.
How are you going to effectively meter all customers on your network?
We have drawn our timetable on how we are going to cover all our customers. In the first instance, we are going to meter 300,000 customers. But there is no way we can bring in all the 300,000 meters for installation in one month.
There are some we are going to install now, and it continues until December 2016. We did say we would not allow anybody to jump the queue.
But there is a development now. Our Board has just approved that people who cannot wait are free to leverage our new CAPMI scheme. The fact still remains that the meters are free – whether through CAPMI or the traditional scheme. If you pay under CAPMI to speedily get the meter, we are going to refund the money over time. We didn’t plan for this before, but it is a reality we have to address. The procedure through which our customers can leverage our CAPMI scheme, will be made public soon.
The meters will help us minimise our losses, while also monitoring and managing consumers’ consumption.
Secondly, our Customer Enumeration, Technical Audit and Asset Mapping initiative is targeted at making every consumer of power within our network our customer indeed. This initiative has kicked off fully and we are going from house to house. If we succeed in adding these customers to our network, people on estimated billing would pay less because more customers will be in the picture.
The second aspect of this initiative is the technical audit. All the power assets from transformer, cables, poles, and so on, used for our operations will be captured using our technology. In the long-run, immediately we identify a customer, we can tie the customer to a transformer; we tie the transformer to a feeder; and so on. The data is needed to manage the system effectively. It is a pity that we started late, but it is better late than never. In the next seven to 10 months, we are going to finish the metering project.
If we then marry the metering scheme to the CETAAM initiative, everything would begin to work seamlessly. Bypassing of our meters will become a thing of the past. Service will be pay-as-you-go. If you don’t pay, you don’t get power, and the idea of estimated billing will become a thing of the past.
By the time we finish CETAAM, we will be able to identify all the weak technical points on out network and now plan on how to do network expansion and maintenance. Of course, this will assist us to do good management and balancing.