The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has slammed the Electricity Distribution companies operating in the country over their failure to provide meters to millions of customers.
This development came even as the Minister for Power, former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola admitted that the data used to calculate estimated billing for unmetered customers is flawed and therefore cannot be relied upon.
Fashola said, “The federal government underestimated the number of Nigerian households scheduled for metering before privatisation.
“This is compounded by an inaccurate consumer projection of 6 million households, without a consumer audit. These are the problems the Buhari government is now trying to fix with the Power Sector Recovery Program, which I will discuss later.”
The Acting Director General of the NERC, Anthony Akah, said, “People are complaining of being unfairly billed, they are not questioning the tariff as much as the fact that there is no noticeable improvement in supply.”
“We believe we have done what is closest to reflective tariff. We are being challenged, now there is no going back on our protection of the consumers, we are stepping up our enforcement.
“It is grossly unfair if I want estimated billing stopped and you don’t provide meters for me. We are working on a massive monitoring; we will ask for names of people who have paid but yet to be metered”
Akah added that the NERC was also in the proces of winding down the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI)- an initiative of NERC to close the wide metering gap in the NESI (Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry).
“In line with the policy trust of the Ministry of Power, we will work on progressive wind down of the CAPMI scheme. As NERC, we are going beyond our regulatory landscape because you have not embraced the scheme as it should,” he said.
According to figures presented by the NERC over 47% of the electricity customers in the country are currently unmetered, meanwhile since the privatization of the Power sector, DISCOs have only been able to unilaterally meter 151,724 customers.