The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has assured electricity consumers using prepaid meters that units already purchased will not be lost due to the ongoing meter upgrade.
NEMSA spokeswoman Ama Umoren, in a statement, said the agency’s managing director, Tukur Tahir, gave the assurance on Sunday.
Mr Tahir was reacting to enquiries from electricity consumers over the ongoing discussion on standard transfer specification of prepaid meters upgrading using token identifier rollover, set to commence soon.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently directed electricity customers nationwide to update their metering devices or face challenges with recharging by 2024.
NERC explained that updating would be free of charge, with customers expected to approach the power distribution companies (DisCos) on how to go about it.
The statement assured customers that the meter upgrade process would not affect the credit unit balance on their meters, adding that the upgrade was a one-time process.
The statement assured the public of its readiness to ensure that all electricity meters and instruments deployed in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) were of the right standard.
The agency promised to ensure that all electrical instruments met specifications, safety and quality to accurately measure and record electrical energy consumed and guarantee the safety of lives and property.
“Meter manufacturers will be required to change their production processes in order to cater for the new manufacturing hardware secure modules and key load files,” stated NEMSA. “They are also required to start manufacturing meters on the 2014 base date as will be specified by their customers when they have updated their vending systems.”
It also mentioned that distribution companies would provide prepaid meter customers “key change tokens” alongside regular energy tokens when purchasing electricity.
“The prepaid meter end-users would be involved in the final piece of the TID rollover key change process. The process would involve a special pair of tokens called a key change token that would be entered into the prepaid meter to finalise the update of the prepaid meter software,” Mr Tahir said.
He added, “Customers must upgrade their prepaid meters by sequentially entering the two KCT tokens (KCT1 & KCT2) and then the energy token, to be provided by the DisCo.”
The NEMSA boss urged customers to ensure that “unused or previously purchased energy tokens are loaded” into their meters before expiration.