With a few days to deadline by Ikeja Electric (IE) Distribution Company (DisCo), customers are under pressure to upgrade their Standard Transfer Specification (STS) pre-paid meters.
The upgrade is expected to forestall inability to load energy tokens from November 1, 2023, when the DisCo kicks off its Token Identifier (TID) rollover.
Recall that only IE asked its customers with STS meters to provide National Identification Number (NIN) details as part of requirements for the upgrade.
Earlier, through its X social media handle, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had disclosed the need for prepaid meter upgrade before November 2024.
But Emeka Ojoko, a lawyer and coordinator of NEPA WAHALA NG, a power sector consumer awareness and protection initiative, said the deadline should be extended if sufficient numbers of customers are yet to comply with the NIN upload.
A customer @PhilipCKO, via X, expressed dissatisfaction over poor communication by Ikeja Electric on the roll out, saying: “Such campaign needs, at least, 90 days prior (notice) to give room for easy rollout.”
Also, one Adetayo Adegbemle urged Ikeja Electric to consider extending the deadline until January, so that more people can comply. He also called for increased publicity for the process.
The Guardian learnt that globally, by November 2024, all STS meters would stop accepting credit tokens calculated on a base date of 1993 and the TID value encoded in the token would be reset to zero, unless an intervention takes place.
It was also gathered that extending the current vending and current token lifetime beyond 2024 would expose the electricity industry to huge security threats globally.
IE had informed in August that only customers who have linked their NIN will receive two sets of 20-digit tokens (KCT one and two) delivered alongside their energy token at the point of vending, as of November 1, 2023. It also revealed that smart card meters are exempted from the process, saying the upgrade is for 20-digit token-enabled STS meters.
It was gathered that over 60 per cent of customers, as of the time of filing this report, have linked their NIN to prepaid meters.
The DisCo told The Guardian in a chat that some customers were skeptical about releasing NIN details. It, however, assured of confidentiality.
Head of Corporate Communications, IE, Kingsley Okotie, added that there has been impressive response from customers and that landlords have been supportive.
The Laurels International Magazine