KEDCO ends estimated billing in franchise areas

By Acheme Jack, Kano.

Pre-paid meters

The Kano Electricity Distribution Company, KEDCO, has ended the era of estimated billing usually complained about by customers with the official signing of Memorandum of Understanding with five meter vendors and flag-off of massive distribution to over 500,000 customers in its franchise areas of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states.

According to the Managing Director of KEDCO, Dr. Jamila Isiyaku Gwamna, in a ceremony held at Tahir Guest Palace in Kano state, North-western Nigeria, by the arrangement, customers would no longer be overcharged and compelled to pay for what they did not consume.

“From now customers will only pay for what they consume. Customers who are bitterly complaining about crazy bills have a point. There is no justification for one to be excessively charged by mere conjecture.

“We have discovered the inherent anomalies in the billing system and we have taken proactive steps to rectify the situation through this mass meter roll out,”  he said.

He stressed that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between KEDCO and the five meter installation companies was a major stepping stone towards ensuring sanity and quality services in KEDCO’s day-to-day operations.

The roll out is based on an earlier directive by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), urging all DISCOs to meter their customers.

Gwamna was quick to add that KEDCO in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Justice and security agencies would soon inaugurate a tribunal to ensure that debtors pay their outstanding bills and equally discipline those consuming power in their residences, companies and work places through illegal connections.

We have also discovered that some irresponsible elements were in the habit of bypassing our meters in the name of illegal tapping of our electricity.

“We see it as a heinous criminal offence and we are determined on sanctioning the culprits. We are not going to fold our arms and allow saboteurs to swindle us at the expense of our legitimate customers.

“In the next two weeks, a tribunal would come on board to check the excesses of those employing a simple trick to cheat KEDCO.

“The tribunal would be established with the support of the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with relevant security agencies for the conduct of the tribunal to be effective,”  he emphasized.

According to him, the Kano Distribution Company had invested heavily in the past in order to meet the demands of  its numerous customers in Kano DISCO which comprised Kano Jigawa and Katsina States.

The KEDCO boss, lamented  that the Electricity Distribution Company had been operating at a huge loss right from its inception and that the persistent pilfering of electricity cables and vandalization of transformers as well as meter bye pass had turned the hands of the clock backward in recent times.

He craved the maximum co-operation of customers in Kano DISCO in achieving the desired objectives.

The vendors who also exhibited their various types of meters were: Armese Consulting Limited, CrestHill Engineering Limited, Meron Nigeria Limited, Mojeg International Limited, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company.

Group Managing Director of Mojeg international limited, Chantelle Abdul, said the development will not only provide meters but provide employment to teeming Nigerian youths as it will involve young engineers, mapping, census, installation and monitoring, among others.

“It will also enhance transfer of technology as a good part of the operations will be handled by the indigenous population,”  she said.

She said the cost of the meter will be spread according to the ability of the customer to pay which ranges from one-off, monthly, a year and above.

Amaka E. Nliam