Jos – Mohammed Modibo, Managing Director, Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) Plc, on Wednesday disclosed that his company was targeting about one million customer database in Plateau, Bauchi, Benue and Gombe states by the end of 2018 from the current 472,000.
Modibo who spoke on Wednesday at a customers’ consultative forum in Jos, said that JED would soon relaunch vigorous metering programme in the states to achieve the target.
He warned that the company would not entertain any deliberate attempt to interrupt the programme.
Modibbo noted that his company had received approval from the regulator to immediately disconnect any customer that refuses to be metered.
The managing director who was represented by Mr. Boniface Verr Jibbo, the Director, Marketing and Investment, further warned, “Any customer found stealing electricity by bypassing the meters installed by our staff will be prosecuted in accordance with the law. Electricity theft is a criminal offence which will no longer be tolerated by JED Plc.”
He said that one major challenge experienced by JED in its meter rollout programme was the incidences of meter rejection by some of the customers on the belief that the meters deployed were not properly calibrated and were not certified by Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA).
“I am glad to report here and now that this issue has been laid to rest some weeks ago as the meters were taken to NEMSA certification centre in Kaduna where it was confirmed that the meters were properly calibrated and functioning properly,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ja’afaam Wuyep, the state Commissioner for Water Resources and Energy, who represented Governor Simon Lalong, commended JED for taking feedback from customers.
He added, “We are a responsible government; we will not sit back watch our people suffer.”
He appealed to JED to pay listening years to customers and respond to their complaints appropriately.
Some members of the state House of Assembly, who spoke on behalf of their constituents, and other customers gave myriad of complaints regarding hiked billing, estimated billing, requests for customers to pay for transformers, electricity poles and meters by JED.
In response, Jibbo promised to look into the customers’ complaints but also accused customers of always trying to bypass metering, describing it as energy theft.
He also complained of vandalism of electricity cables and transformers by the communities.
Also speaking, Mr. Samuel Uma, a staff of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), said there are regulations by law, and customers should put their complaints in writing and through appropriate channels and should stop threatening JED staff.
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