By Omar Bah
The Standard Transfer Specification Association (STSA) has tasked electricity utilities all over the world to upgrade their prepayment meters on or before November 24, 2024. The upgrading system will affect all STS prepayment meters.
The news of the rollover in The Gambia has attracted a lot of controversy and speculation that its implementation will come at a cost to the customers.
But reacting to the controversy in a press conference yesterday, Nawec managing director Nani Juwara said the information about the rollover that has been circulating on social media was distorted, and that has created panic.
He said contrary to the speculation, customers will not need to pay a single butut for the upgrading of their meters, and the purchased units will not be lost due to the process.
Mr Juwara said as directed by the STS, all customers must upgrade their prepayment meters by sequentially entering the first two tokens and then the energy token, which will be provided after their meters are upgraded.
He said customers must ensure that any unused or previously purchased energy tokens are loaded into their meters before the expiration date.
Juwara said the upgrading will ensure that all meters accept the tokens generated by “our vending systems, provided they are upgraded”.
“The process will be very simple because your meter numbers are registered with us. So, when we upgrade your meter system, when you buy cash power, three numbers will be generated, so you will enter the first two numbers, then the third, which will be your token,” he said.
He said once the first two numbers are entered, the meter will automatically upgrade.
MD Juwara advised all meter holders to be careful of individuals who may take advantage of the situation to defraud them.
“People can use this kind of situation and start defrauding you, making it something so complicated that you need somebody’s help and you need to pay them to be able to do it for you. You don’t need that. Pleased, whether is a Nawec staff or not, whoever comes to you and asks you for money to upgrade the system, know that the person is a fraudster and should be reported to the Nawec senior management,” he said. He said the upgrading process will come at zero cost to customers.
The program manager, Alhagie Jobe, said the upgrading notice affected electricity providers across the world.
He said the process will not involve replacing the current meters.
“We are simply upgrading them to be able to meet the required standards,” he said.
Mr Jobe said even where a meter is upgraded, the balance token will not be affected. He said the only tokens that would be affected would be those that were bought and not used before the upgrading of the meters.
He said before the resetting of the meters, customers will be given one month notice.