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Over 34,000 meter owners not recharging since installation — Ikeja Electric

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…Says bypass has made Company lost enormous resources

By Uthman Salami

Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (Ikeja DisCo) has discovered that  34,000 prepaid meters belonging to customers are not recharging, the company reveals.

The Disco said it has this year metered 111,703 customers under the Federal Government mass metering programme.

It added that 30 per cent of these customers have been found to either by-passed their meters or engaged in different clandestine activities as none of them have made first recharge since their meters were installed therefore causing the company to lose enormous revenue.

Confirming this development spokesman of the DisCo Felix Ofulue, said 34,000 of such customers representing 30 per cent of the 111,703 customers already installed with prepaid meters are yet to make first recharge.

The affected customers were beneficiaries under the Phase Zero of the NMMP.

Ofulue confirmed that Ikeja Electric was allocated 106,000 meters under the programme, adding that the company was able to install 111,703 prepaid meters for customers because many of them requested for single phase meters.

He said out of the metered customers, about 34,000 of them representing 30 per cent of those who benefited from the exercise, which ended in December 2021, had not recharged their prepaid meters till date.

Ofulue said the DisCo’s investigations had revealed that some of the customers bypassed their prepaid meters during the process of installation, which was a criminal offence but noted that some others might have probably travelled during the period, hence there was no need for them to recharge the meters while some customers claimed that they had no money to recharge the meters.

He informed that customers involved in bypassing meters would be charged to court and prosecuted.

He said the DisCo was also working on retrieving the prepaid meters from some customers who deliberately refused to recharge for non-performance.

To forestall further infraction, the DisCo is set to deploy Intelligent Data Box, IDB, a smart meter that prevents  energy  theft by customers.

Speaking on the Meter Asset Provider, MAP scheme, Ofulue said the DisCo has so far installed about 45,000 meters customers in the last four months, especially with the implementation of the 24-hour metering initiative.

He maintained that the objective of the DisCo was to reduce the metering gap under its network to shore up revenue collection efficiency and improve customer satisfaction.

Energy

FG committed to implementing CNG Keke policy – NOA

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The Director-General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Malam Lanre Isa-Onilu, on Friday restated the Federal Government’s commitment to implementing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Keke (tricycle) policy.

Isa-Onilu, who said this on Friday at a news conference in Abuja, said that the policy was part of government’s efforts to alleviate the current economic hardship facing the citizens.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a feasible gaseous fuel that is relatively very cheap, environmentally friendly, safe to handle and has abundant available energy.

The director-general added that the policy also geared towards cutting  transportation cost, to ameliorate the suffering of citizens.

According to him, the CNG will offer opportunity to local farmers to move their crops at affordable cost from their farms to the market.

“CNG will reduce fuel dependency and scarcity within the country by a wide margin, as well as strengthen uniformity of national transit system.

“Government will deploy 10,000 CNG filling stations across the country, while private marketers are also in the process of adding CNG points to their business,” NOA boss said.

According to him, the Federal Government is committed in providing Nigerians with affordable energy options. The use of CNG stands as a testament to this commitment.

“CNG offers cost savings for consumers, businesses, and government operations in ensuring that energy remains accessible to all.

“As part  of our environmental stewardship, the adoption of CNG aligns with the government’s goal to create a cleaner and  healthier nation.

“By choosing CNG over traditional petrol, we reduce harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter,  in contributing to improve air quality and smaller carbon footprint.”

The director-general said that government recognised the importance of utilising domestic resources to enhance energy security, by  the promotion of the use of CNG, sourced locally.

This, he added, would reduce dependence on imported petroleum products, as well as supporting national economic resilience.

He restated the agency’s commitment in leveraging on the cost cutting benefits of this CNG Keke, to ensure that its community orientation mobilisation officers reach out to communities with government messages.

According to him, the agency has partnered with the Ecomead company to enlighten Nigerians on the Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) Keke tricycle policy.

Also speaking, Chief Executive Officer, Ecomead Company, Mr Kayode Zubaim, commended NOA for embarking on government’s CNG campaign programme to ensure Nigerians were updated with the policy.

According to him, the provision of CNG  is apt and will  help to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.

He added that the decision of President Bola Tinubu made Ecomead to wear a thinking cap, to contribute its quarter to the nation’s development.

“After carrying out series of research, we are able to come up with a brand that will use both CNG and patrol.

“But the truth is that it is manufactured to use CNG with the capacity of five kilogramme that rider can manage for minimum of one week.

“CNG is environmental friendly and such will help to reduce Nigerians problems,  especially those in the rural communities and communities transport system.

“With NOA partnering with us, we can get across to all part of the country in making sure Nigerians know about CNG Keke ,” he said.

He added  that the issue  of transportation would drastically reduce with the intervention  of CNG  when Nigerians made use to the product .

Mr Shamrat Sharna, Regional Manager, Simba TVS, said  CNG looked new to Nigeria, but the product has been used all over in India.

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Energy

FCTA uncovers illegal refinery in Abuja

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has discovered the presence of an illegal oil refining warehouse in Mabushi, Abuja.

The Director, Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, who spoke to journalists said that the illegal refining site was uncovered during the continuation of the city cleaning exercise.

Galadima disclosed that about three to four plots of land designated for commercial purposes have been converted to an area where oil and diesel are being adulterated and circulated to other parts of the city.

He said that the city sanitation task force will look into the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration for further actions on the plots used for the activity.

He added that there was no arrest, but the items used in carrying out the illegal refining have been impounded.

“During the continuation of our city sanitation exercise in Mabushi opposite Mobile filling station on Ahmadu way, we discovered an illegal refining site where oil and diesel are being adulterated, we have done the needful by moving the items to Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“From what we have seen so far, about three or four plots of land designated for commercial purposes have been converted to unapproved activities, which we believe the owners are fully aware of. There will be consequences. We are going to look at the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration,” he said.

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Energy

Gas production declines despite FG’s N250bn intervention fund to 15 companies — Report

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The Energy Institute report has revealed that the production of natural gas fell last year despite an N250 billion intervention fund provided to fifteen companies.

According to the industry report in partnership with KPMG, Nigeria’s natural gas production dropped by 4 billion cubic feet meters between 2021 and 2022.

The country’s gas production recorded at 39 billion cubic feet meters as of 2012 was on a steady growth and had grown to 49 billion cubic feet meters as of 2020, suddenly crashed 45 billion cubic meters in 2021, and then 40 billion cubic meters last year.

According to the report, “The development happened despite a N250 billion intervention fund by FG through the Central Bank of Nigeria, out of which N130 billion was doled out to 15 companies for the construction of Compressed Natural Gas conversion centres.

“The NGEP was introduced by the Federal Government to make the CNG the fuel of choice for transportation and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas, the fuel of choice for domestic cooking, captive power and small industrial complexes.”

After the flag off of NGEP, the CBN also introduced the N250 billion intervention facility to help stimulate investment in the gas value chain as part of its efforts at stimulating finance to critical sectors of the economy.

The fifteen companies – Dangote Oil Refinery, Nipco Gas Ltd, Nipco Plc, Hyde Energy Ltd, Lee Engineering and Construction Company, Pinnacle Oil and Gas FZE, Transit Gas Ltd, Amalgamated Oil Company Nig Ltd, First Modular Gas Systems Ltd, NOVAGAS Ltd, Greenville Liquefied Natural Gas Company, AP LPG Limited, and MOB Integrated Services Limited, Delta State Government, and Gas Nexus Ltd that received a combined N130 billion, would on Thursday face the Senate Committee on gas chaired by Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe.

The summon letter by the Senate said, “The invited companies are required to appear with their progress reports, stating location or projects and the current status of the projects.”

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