The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), yesterday says it has supplied 246,587 customers with prepaid meters out of the 501,532 customers within its network as at August 2019.
The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr Godwin Idemudia, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the company had engaged the service of seven Meter Asset Providers (MAP) operators which include Mojec, Armese, Bendoriks, Gospell, IRL,Turbo and CIG.
He said three out of the seven MAPs appointed for the company by the regulators had commenced operations.
According to him, “They (MAPs) have done their pre-installation survey which have been validated. MAPs are to supply meters.’’
He also said that in spite of the company’s efforts in ensuring that customers within its network were supplied with meters in no distant time, EKEDC’s debt profile remained on the high side.
Idemudia said the company’s debt profile as at the third quarter of 2019 stood at N65 billion as a result of some customers not paying for the electricity consumed within its network.
According to him, the MDAs debt to-date stands at N22.5 billion.
He identified metering gap, restive customers or hostility in certain areas and agitation from pressure groups as constraints affecting EKEDC’s collection of payments.
Idemudia noted that others include non-payment by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs); limitations by National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) regulations; and entitlements by consumers due to the post-mentality of government-owned defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).
He also identified price ceiling as one of the reasons mitigating the prepaid metering processes in the country.
Idemudia said the regulators had noted that if the MAPs go ahead to sell the meters at a higher rate, the Distribution Companies (DisCos) would bear the balance.
The spokesman explained that the price ceiling had prolonged negotiation between the DisCos and some of the MAP operators, while another major challenge had been funding.
‘’However, the Federal Government in its wisdom came up with the MAP scheme as a permanent solution and we are excited to see the outcome of the initiative,’’ he said.
Idemudia, however, noted that meter installation under the MAP scheme is in progress within the company’s network.
According to him, the DisCo has arrested and prosecuted 13 customers for vandalism and 12 for energy theft in the last six months
NERC had on April 5, this year, directed all DisCos to commence the distribution of prepaid meters under MAP not later than May 1, 2019.
Implementation Of Cashless Policy Is In Public Interest –Emefiele
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele says the implementation of cashless policy in six states of the federation is in public interest to promote efficient payment system.
Emefiele stated this while fielding questions from journalists after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held in Abuja, last Friday.
The CBN had, last Tuesday issued a circular to deposit banks to commence the implementation of the cashless policy in six pilot states across the country.
The apex bank directed that implementation should commence from Sept 18 in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and Rivers States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It, however, stated that the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy would take effect from March 31, 2020. The CBN explained that transactions will attract three per cent processing fees for withdrawal and two per cent processing fees for lodgement of amounts above N500, 000 for individual accounts.
Similarly, corporate accounts will attract five per cent processing fees for withdrawal and three per cent processing fee for lodgement of amounts above N3 million.
The CBN’s directive has, however, received knocks from many Nigerians.
Reacting, Emefiele said the policy was not new as it was inaugurated in the country in 2012 and implementation began in 2014 while several engagements were held across multiple stakeholders before its commencement.
He said withdrawal charges had been in place since then, only deposit charges were new now to some people though it was part of it from beginning but later withdrawn.
“The policy says if you deposit money in the bank above a particular threshold which for individual is N500,000 and N3 million for corporate bodies, then you will be charged, same for withdrawal.
“It has been like this but after stakeholders engagement, we agreed that it was too early to begin to charge people who want to deposit money in banks.
“We agreed at that time that they were a lot of cash outside the bank industry and there is no need to penalise the people who want to bring in their money to the banks and then we relaxed the essence of charging on deposit.
“We expected that after five years, that is from 2015 to 2019, all cash kept in peoples’ houses should have been brought to the banks,” he explained. He announced that full cashless policy would commence all over the country by March, 2020.
He stated that the policy was not designed to defranchise hard working Nigerians as perceived by some categories of people.
According to him, a data conducted, revealed that close to 95 per cent of cash deposited and withdrawn fall bellow this threshold.
SON Seeks Media Partnership Against Substandard Goods
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has solicited active working synergy with journalists and other stakeholders in the fight against substandard goods in the country.
The SON Coordinator in charge of Sokoto and Zamfara states, Mr Wanza Kussiy made the appeal in Sokoto, last Friday.
Kussiy emphasised the need for increased awareness for Nigerians to patronise quality products and services with required valuable standards.
He said SON had the mandate of safeguarding people’s lives through ensuring maximum quality of all categories of goods and services as well as rid the country of substandard goods.
According to the coordinator, fighting substandard goods and services should be collective responsibility of all Nigerians.
“ There is need for increased partnership between SON, law enforcement agencies, media professionals, governmental agencies, non-governmental organisations and community-based groups.
“ SON fights substandard goods to ensure quality assurance of products and services across the country” Kussiy said.
He said officials were always encouraged to provide conducive platforms on collaborations where all stakeholders could contribute toward achieving the mandate.
Kussiy cautioned people against demanding for cheap items, which he described as a dangerous way of encountering with counterfeit products.
He explained that SON had unified measures of certifying quality of products and services comprising imported ones and those produced within the country, and also issue out compliance certificates.
The coordinator urged people to report or register their complaint on items or services suspected to be of substandard quality for immediate action.
He stressed that the aim was to ensure that people obtained goods and services with maximum required value.
Xerox To Partner RSG On Information Management
A leading company in documents equipments and solutions, Xerox H.S Nigeria Limited has said that it would remain focused in providing the modern technology to drive excellence in documentation and information management in public service and the private sector.
General Manager Sales and Marketing of the company, Mr Femi Abidoye, disclosed this during a product exhibition of the company in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
He said the company was ready to partner with the Rivers State Government and other stakeholders in documentation and information management, to enhance productivity, “in the face of dynamic, ever changing technological advancement
“It is on record that Xerox has been visibly represented in Port Harcourt (Rivers State) for more than three decades now and their contributions in the state had altered the face of business and official transactions, from documents generation, storage, retrieval and archiving in daily corporate world of business,” he said.
Abidoye said the company has continued to blaze the trail in the changing phase of transaction in business, politics and social devices,adding that the exhibition was to showcase its latest innovations to the company’s customers in Rivers state.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Engr Benson Okwonu, had described Xerox as one of the top centres of business activities in Rivers State , Nigeria and the world at large, leading in documents equipment and solutions with wide range of modern technologies.
Okwonu who is the Executive Director, Engineering, Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA) urged the company to maintain its pace in technological advancement and service delivery.
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