The leadership of Consumer Rights Advancement Organisation (CRADO) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the N30bn given to Nigerians by former President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly kept in Skye bank for the delivery of prepaid meters for electricity consumers nationwide.
In a statement signed by the group’s president, Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo said the continued silence on the fund has made Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) not to provide the meters freely to consumers.
CRADO recalled that “the Electricity Distribution companies were mandated to Meter all Electricity Consumers in Nigeria, within 24 (Twenty Four) months”.
“Unfortunately, this month, October 2016, is the 36th month. Currently about 4 (Four) Million Electricity Consumers are yet to have Meters.
“The Electricity Distribution Companies have been deliberately stalling the supply of Electricity Meters in order to continue extorting and cheating Electricity Consumers by giving them crazy and outrageous Estimated Bills every month.
“There is currently an initiative that enables Electricity Consumers acquire an Electricity Meters called C.A.P.M.I. – Credit Advance Payment Metering initiative, but right now, the CAPMI Scheme for Consumers is under threat as the DISCOs seem not to be interested in the Scheme anymore, as they are enjoying giving crazy and outrageous bills to Electricity Consumers for payment monthly.
According to CRADO, “If this money – N30bn is released by PMB for the sole purpose it is meant for, which is for providing Electricity Meters to Electricity Consumers, it will make Consumers happy as it remains the only hope for the Nigerian Electricity Consumer to have Pre-Paid Electricity Meter.
“It becomes noteworthy to mention and categorically state that, the Honourable Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN is aware and has visited some Electricity Meters Manufacturing Companies in Nigeria, like MEMMCOL at Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Mojec International Limited at Oshodi – Apapa Expressway, e.t.c.
The products of these Nigerian Meters Manufacturers are approved by the Standards Organization of Nigeria – S.O.N. The Nigerian Meters Manufacturers have come out openly to say that, with the massive investments on ground, they currently have over One Million Electricity Meters of various models on ground, and can also produce a minimum of Two to Three Hundred Thousand Electricity Meters every month, and have the capacity to supply Nigeria and all West African Nations with Electricity Meters.
“We will like to challenge the DISCOs that are importing Pre-Paid Electricity Meters, Pre-Paid Smart Meters, Copper Transformers, etc. to tell Nigerians the cost per unit of such imports and compare the cost to our locally produced ones, if there are no other corporate importation motives or reasons.