To promote inclusivity in the power sector, the Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) will provide free prepaid meters to people with disabilities (PwDs).
This commitment was made during a recent visit by the Adamawa People Living with Disabilities and Vulnerable People Support Initiative (APLWDVSI) to the corporate headquarters of YEDC in Yola.
The APLWDVSI, expressing gratitude for YEDC’s support for people with disabilities, sought the company’s commitment to ensure that the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) initiative of the federal government would benefit its members.
With over seven million metering gaps in the country, most consumers are under-estimated billing, a development that not only resorts to frequent disconnection but restricts consumers from transparent and controlled billing.
A member of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Godiya Simon, conveyed the organisation’s need for assistance in obtaining meters, as the majority of their members cannot afford them.
They also requested prioritisation in various services, including employment opportunities. She stated, “We are grateful for the time given to us and our acceptance in YEDC. We appreciate it and we continue to pray for peaceful coexistence and cooperation between the two organizations. Thank you for partnering with us people with disabilities.”
The Chairman of the Nigerian Association of the Deaf, Nuhu Liman, who was also present at the meeting, emphasized the importance of inclusivity in society.
YEDC, in response, pledged to provide meters to every member of the organisation once an enumeration of all its members has been completed.
“Inclusiveness” has been a topic that has received limited attention in Nigeria’s power sector, with little recognition of disabled and vulnerable individuals in society. A report by the USAID-funded project, “The Power Africa Nigeria Power Sector Program,” titled: ‘Social Inclusion and Diversity in Nigeria’s Power Sector’ (August 25, 2021), highlights the lack of exploration of diversity and social inclusion dynamics within the Nigerian Power Sector.
YEDC aims to bridge this gap by engaging with the Adamawa People Living with Disability and Vulnerable Support Initiative.
Chief Corporate Services Officer of YEDC, Rashidah Ahmed, said: “YDC will continue to provide an inclusive work environment where everyone is valued regardless of their background and differences.”
She further emphasized YEDC’s desire to extend opportunities to people living with disabilities in society and to promote an inclusive culture where every employee can thrive and make a difference.
This commitment by YEDC marks a significant step toward a more inclusive and equitable power sector in Nigeria, setting an example for other companies to follow suit in embracing diversity and supporting marginalized communities.