In West Africa, CEO of Nigeria’s Eko Electricity Distribution Company (Eko) Oladele Amoda urged customers to purchase prepaid meters under the Credit Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme to avoid estimated billing.

Speaking recently in Lagos, Amoda called on customers to pay an advance to the distribution companies by signing up to CAPMI to get a prepaid meter, a scheme implemented by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in an attempt to curb estimated billings, This Day Live reported.

As soon as the customer pays, they will be metered within a 45 day period, Amoda confirmed.

From prepaid meters to smart meters

Amoda however confirmed the discos intention to move all customers to smart metering. “We plan to change all the non-functional meters to smart meters. We will also replace all the prepaid meters but those who cannot wait should subscribe to CAPMI to avoid estimated billings.”

Nigerian smart meter
Smart metering Nigeria: Eko plans to replace prepaid meters with smart meters

Commenting on the disco’s metering work to date Amoda said: “We have metered about 3,000 customers and we are currently expecting meters for key customer group called maximum demand customers.

“We have spent $15 million [ZAR185 million] on the project we have committed ourselves, while the small commercial/residential customers will gulp [$100 million]. We want to eliminate estimated billings gradually”, Amoda told media.

Financing Nigerian energy supply

On the subject of a reliable electricity supply, Eko will collaborate with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to provide necessary funds to perform optimally as TCN has not been able to transmit generated power efficiently due to the lack of funds available, Amoda explained.

“We will recover our money later but we have to assist them financially so as to help our customers,” he said.

The new power investors who took over in 2013 are focusing on expanding and upgrading the existing electricity network rather than concentrating on making a quick buck, the CEO said.

Amoda claimed that the investors have reduced technical losses from 35% to 29.4% with the expectation set to reduce this by an additional 10% in the next five years.

Challenges in Nigeria’s electricity sector

  • Vandalism
  • Energy theft
  • Meter by-pass
  • Non cost-reflective tariffs
  • Shortfall in generation and transmission interface issues