By Modupe Gbadeyanka
As part of efforts to close the metering gap in the country, the federal government, through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), came up with the Meter Asset Providers (MAPs).
This platform gives third party companies licenced by government to provide metres to customers of electricity in the country and the scheme has since commenced on May 1, 2019.
One of the leading electricity distribution firms, Ikeja Electric, embraced the MAPs so as to serve its customers better and more efficiently.
The company, in its efforts to make the process of obtaining a prepaid metre hassle-free for its customers, has explained in simple terms how to go about it.
In its Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs) sector of its website, Ikeja Electric said, “In line with NERC regulations, customers are expected to pay for meters. The payment for the meter by the customer can either be upfront or in instalments.”
It further noted that a single-phase meter costs N38,850 and a three-phase meter costs N70,350. These are all inclusive of VAT.”
Ikeja Electric explained that, “Customers who cannot afford to pay for their meters upfront can pay in instalments. The instalment payment is by regulation referred to as the Monthly Metering Service Charge (MSC) and will continue until full amortization of the meter asset cost, as agreed with the MAPs.”
It stated that, “A meter is for one customer account only. However, customers with more than one account can have multiple meters.
Ikeja Electric also said for customers who made upfront payments for acquiring the metres, the meters will be provided and installed within 10 working days of the payment and for payments in instalments, customers will be metered in line with the MAPs installation schedule.
It further said after installation, the meter will be processed for setup and activation within two days and customers will be able to vend for energy using any of the IE payment channels.
On if customers will have to pay any additional charges for meter request, Ikeja Electric simply said, “No. The total amount payable is as stated for single and three phase meters respectively. However, where a customer location does not have the right service wiring, customers will be advised to purchase one. This can be obtained from any licensed electricity vendor.”
On how customers can pay for the MAP Meters, the firm said, “All payments for meters should be made into the authorised bank account to be advised by the MAP. No customer should pay cash for meters to any individual.”
Commenting on how to obtain the prepaid metres, Ikeja Electric advised customers to complete or update their details by visiting http://map.ikejaelectric.com/. It also said customers can send an email to CustomerCare@ikeJaelectric.com or call on any of 01-448-3900, 01-700-0250 and 0700-022-5543 for further information.
On if a customer decides not to get a meter, the company stressed that, “The regulation stipulates that all unmetered customers must be metered under the MAP scheme. Customers who refuse meters will be denied service by the distribution company,” adding that all meters will be procured and installed via MAPs.
Speaking on customers having unsettled post-paid bill before applying for a meter, the electricity firm advised that the bill be cleared by taking advantage of the various repayment options available during the KYC process.
“Outstanding balance can also be rolled over into the customer’s prepaid account and paid in instalments in line with IE’s instalment plans,” it said.
Answering question as to whether the Meter Service Charge (MSC) is the same as the Suspended Fixed Charge, the company said, “MSC is not the same as the Suspended Fixed Charge (CFC), noting that the MSC is the monthly repayment of the cost of the meter over a period of time.
On the event of customer’s relocation to another apartment after paying for the meters, Ikeja Electric said if the relocation is within its franchise area, the customer is expected to notify the DisCo and once notified, the company will transfer the service to the new location including the credit on the customer’s account.
“Customers are not allowed to remove their meters from their locations,” Ikeja Electric emphasised.
LG Polls: Ogun Imposes Movement Restriction
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Ogun State Government has announced a statewide restriction of movement between 7 am and 4 pm on Saturday, July 24, 2021, to allow for the conduct of local government elections.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, said the restriction was at the instance of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), which is conducting the councilorship and chairmanship elections in all the 236 wards across the 20 local government areas in the state.
However, during the period of the restriction, voters will be free to move to their polling centres within their neighbourhood and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.
The statement urged the electorate to be peaceful and avoid any act that could tarnish the hard-earned reputation of Ogun State as one of the most peaceful states in the country.
This is coming after the Lagos State Government restricted movement between 8 am and 3 pm on Saturday for the same purpose.
Mr Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, had said in a statement Thursday that the restriction will enable the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct hitch-free elections across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas in the state.
“The restriction will facilitate the ease of movement of the electorate, election materials and LASIEC officials for the sanctity of the election, effective monitoring and enhanced security,” Mr Omotoso said.
Everybody Needs PR—Yomi Badejo-Okusanya
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Group Managing Director of CMC Connect BCW, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya (YBO), has emphasised the importance of Public Relations to organisations and individuals, saying everybody needs PR.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya, who doubles as the president of the African Public Relations Association (APPA), therefore, submitted that efforts should be made to have a better understanding of the profession, noting that PR is different from journalism but both work together to achieve great results.
He called on organisations, leaders, nations, policy and decision-makers to never overlook the value that PR brings to the table.
“Many still bear in mind that PR is only about press releases and organising events whilst those with an understanding of the weight PR professionals pull as a result of their expertise have yielded great results for themselves,” he said.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya, while speaking on the first-ever World PR Day held on July 16, 2021, charged practitioners to push forward the agenda of PR in their daily dealings, stressing that “PR needs PR.”
The APRA leader said the decision to set aside a day for PR and a unified global agenda was indeed a welcome development, stressing that, for the past 33 years, APPA has been able to gather PR Practitioners in Africa and recently across the globe under one roof to push forward the agenda of PR, the profession itself and discuss issues, trends and solutions to PR needs.
“I am delighted because this day speaks to the fact that our effort is yielding results in ways that will take the profession to the level where it belongs and better utilized by organisations, businesses, nations, brands, individuals, decision and policymakers.
“Truth is, everybody needs PR. It is part of our daily lives and PR is about telling a compelling story! This call for unity on a day such as this will bring about great opportunities and collaborations that will be beneficial to our profession in the long run,” he said.
MIIVOC to Train FIRS Officials on FOI Act
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A group known as the Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) is taking steps to improve the knowledge of government officials in the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2011.
Already, it has concluded arrangements with the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to train key personnel on the provisions and application of the law.
“Knowledge and capacity on the FOI Act are still very low in the country. There is a need for training and retraining of representatives of public institutions on the provisions and applications of the Act.
“Poor understanding of the provisions of the FOI Act is one of the reasons for its poor implementation in Nigeria, particularly, among state actors,” the Executive Director of MIIVOC, Mr Walter Duru, said.
“Section 13 of the FOI Act makes it mandatory for public institutions to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right to access information or records held by the government or public institutions, as provided for in this Act,” he added.
“Pursuant to section 13 of the FOI Act, the present management of FIRS approved the training for relevant officials of the Service on the FOI Act, with the view to ensuring increased compliance. The training is to be held on Thursday and Friday this week in Abuja,” Mr Duru also stated.
The MIIVOC chief, who also chairs the board of the Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria called on other public institutions in the country to take steps towards enhancing the capacity of their officials through regular training and retraining on the provisions of the Act.
He also called on Nigerian citizens to take advantage of the FOI Act to hold governments at all levels accountable.
Mr Duru, an Assistant Professor of Communication and Multimedia Design at the American University of Nigeria, Yola is the leader of the non-state actors drive on FOI Implementation in Nigeria – Chairman of Freedom of Information Coalition in Nigeria.
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