The Ikeja Electric, a distribution company, said on Wednesday that it would soon begin the installation of about 300,000 smart meters in the zone.
The company said the meters, which were acquired at a cost of $106 million (N21.2 billion) under its Advanced Metering Infrastructure would assist in curtailing energy theft and put an end to estimated billing system.
Abiodun Ajifowobaje, the Managing Director of the company, said in Ikeja that the new metering initiative, known as: “Smart Metering,” would address some challenges associated with billing system.
Ajifowobaje said the pilot project would start on May 25 with 2,000 meters for customers who had electricity challenges or non-functional meters.
He said the company would during the test-run period install 2,000 meters in the six business districts in the zone.
The managing director said a study conducted by the organisation showed that 300,000 of the 600,000 customers in the zone did not have functional meters.
According to him, the new investors inherited about 138,000 meters out of which 40,000 customers illegally by-passed their meters.
He said: “Because we have not adequately monitored energy received from the national grid due to actions of these customers, we have decided to ensure that we install these hi-tech meters to check illegal connections by electricity consumers.
“The new smart meter will ensure accuracy of energy usage for proper and effective billing system.
“Customers should also protect the meters.”
Ajifowobaje said the company had spent over N1.7 billion in acquiring power equipment from indigenous local manufacturers to boost power supply.
On the challenges facing the electricity company, he identified gas supply as a major challenge.
He said: “Egbin Power Station, which has the capacity of generating over 1,200 mega watts, generates about 300 mega watts due to inadequate gas supply.”
Ajifowobaje said as a result of the gas problem, the company received got 280 mega watts to be distributed to more than 600,000 customers in the zone against the 1,000 mega watts required.
He called for a law that would enable the electricity companies to prosecute perpetrators of energy theft and other fraudulent practices.