The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has said that it was worrisome for electricity consumers to reject installation of the new pre-paid meters.It said the new pre-paid meters were introduced to check power theft.Managing Director of BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, who disclosed this at a media parley in Benin City stated that many consumers were rejecting the new pre-paid meters because power theft was easier with the use of the old pre-paid meter.Mrs. Osibodu noted that several persons have been arrested and being prosecuted for power theft in Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states

According to him, “People are rejecting the new meters. They believe they cannot compromise the meters because we are placing them on the electric poles.“A lot of power theft is happening on pre-paid meters. There is lesse theft on post-paid meter. We have had several sensitization meeting but the people are resisting installations of the eter.”

Mrs. Osibodu stated that the firm was ready to sustain 12 hours supply of electricity to its consumers if conducive and friendly environment was provided for them to operate.[THE NATION]

 

The 11 electricity distribution companies have stated that following the directive by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC) on the metering of Maximum Demand (MD) customers, this is not applicable to all electricity consumers.It explained that the MD customers are commercial and industrial customers who consume high levels of electricity and contribute substantially to the revenues of Distribution Companies (DisCos).

A statement issued by the Chief Executive Officer of the umbrella body of the DisCos, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr Azu Obiaya in Abuja on Wednesday stated that the consumption threshold for MD customers is 45KVA.In his explanations, he said the MD meters are connected on the 11Kv (High tension wire) electricity lines, mostly on dedicated transformers adding that the customers include heavy users of electricity like commercial business plazas, large firms, and small-scale industries among others.“We recognize that significant interest in the NERC notice is directly linked to our customers’ requirement that they be metered.  And rightly so.”

“It is critically important that we state that there is no more interested party in the comprehensive metering of our electricity consumers than the DisCos.  And this is because we understand and fully appreciate the importance of the balance between electricity consumers tracking their consumption versus DisCos having a measure of electricity supplied to their customers, that metering brings. It is our hope and expectation that such metering will be achieved sooner rather than later,” the statement partly read.

It further stated that: “While we continue to operate with the estimated billing methodology that is approved and mandated by NERC, we are working diligently towards addressing the metering obligations specified under our Performance Agreements with the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), as well as ensuring that we continue to be sensitive and responsive to the inadvertent challenges of estimated billing that our residential or non-MD customers are faced with.”

“Again, please note that the NERC directive only applies to MD customers and not residential customers. NERC has made the clarification as well, which is available on their website and publicised.”[NIGERIAN TRIBUNE]

 

 Gauteng: Johannesburg - The Minister of Energy, Mmamoloko Kubayi, on Thursday welcomed the arrest and successful conviction of a Gauteng woman and her son believed to be the kingpin of a syndicate which sold prepaid electricity vouchers illegally.

The 60-year-old woman was sentenced to 42 years in prison at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday after she was found guilty on 16 452 counts related to electricity theft. Presiding Judge Leonie Windell said Chiliza’s sentences will run concurrently.Maphuthi Jeanette Chiliza from De Deur, south of Johannesburg, will serve 18 years in prison for managing a criminal enterprise, 12 years for participating in a criminal enterprise in the form of racketeering, 10 years for the theft of a prepaid electricity credit dispensing machine belonging to Eskom, and 10 years for numerous counts of theft related to the illegal sale of electricity.Her 25-year-old son, Nqobile Chiliza, was found guilty of participating in a criminal enterprise, theft of an Eskom credit dispensing machine and numerous counts of electricity theft. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Kubayi said in a statement that the sentences will send a very strong message to those who tempers with electricity and that theft of electricity is a serious criminal offense. “Government remains committed to ensuring the provision of reliable and sustainable electricity supply for all, as part of mitigating the risk of carbon emissions,” Kubayi said.The other co-accused in the case, Themba Dlamini, 35, and Tlhaloganyo Matthews, 30, who were “runners” for the syndicate and responsible for recruiting customers, were found guilty of participating in a criminal enterprise and electricity theft. They were each sentenced to an effective six years in prison.

The accused were found guilty in December last year after a lengthy trial that started in 2012. Their bail was revoked after the court ruled against them, ensuring they remained in police custody until they were sentenced. Divisional executive for security at Eskom, Tebogo Rakau, said they were pleased with the outcome of the case. Rakau said Eskom loses approximately R4 billion each year due to electricity theft in its various forms including ghost vending, meter tampering and bypassing and illegal connections. “We hope this will send a strong message to all those involved in this crime that electricity theft is a serious criminal offence and, as can be seen from the sentences imposed by the judge in this case, that the law views it as such,” Rakau said.[African News Agency (ANA)]