Why 62.3 percent electricity consumers still on estimated billing ─NERC

* Reveals consumer apathy a serious challenge to industry viability, sustainability

* How Abuja, Eko, Enugu, Ikeja, Kaduna, Port Harcourt DisCos metered more consumers

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

As the all-important power sector of the nation’s economy continues to contend with sundry challenges for electricity consumers to really get value for money, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that 62.3 percent of end users are still on estimated billing as of December 2019.

The industry regulator NERC disclosed this in its Fourth Quarter 2019 Report on its corporate Web site, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The report stated: “Inadequate metering remains a serious challenge in the industry, with only 3,918,322 (37.77 percent) of the total customer population of 10,374,597 metered.

“With 62.37 percent of the end-use customers on estimated billing, huge collection losses due to customer apathy have posed a serious challenge to the viability and sustainability of the industry.”

In comparison to the third quarter of 2019, the numbers of registered and metered consumers increased by 699,850 (7.23 percent) and 22,825 (0.59 percent) respectively, noted the report.

NERC stated that the increase in the number of registered customers could be attributed to the ongoing enumeration exercise by the Distribution Companies (DisCos) while the increase in metered consumers is traceable to the roll-out of meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) schemes.

“The Commission notes with concern that the additional 22,825 end-use customers’ meters installed during the fourth quarter fell significantly from the 83,768 meters installed during the third quarter.

“This poses risk to the Commission’s goal of closing the metering gap in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) by Dec. 31, 2021.

“Although some MAPs have not fully commenced meter deployments, the low metering recorded during the quarter was partly due to the increase of 35 percent in import duty on meter components,” said the report.

According to NERC, the Commission is already working with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning toward addressing those issues in order to fast-track meters roll-out in the country.

During the period under review, it added, only Abuja, Eko, Enugu, Ikeja, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt DisCos metered additional consumers, it said.

The Commission further stressed that the metering status of the DisCos as of December 2019 is: Benin DisCo, 53.71 percent; Abuja, 52.39 percent; Eko, 46.67 percent; Ikeja, 40.38 percent and Jos, 31.71 percent.

Others are Port Harcourt, 38.34 percent; Ibadan, 32.21 percent; Kaduna, 22.2 percent; Kano, 18.36 percent; Enugu, 41.26 percent and Yola, 18.75 percent.

Meanwhile, the NERC has said it will continue to monitor the DisCos in order to ensure total compliance with the MAP regulations.

Kindly Share This Story