Over 60% Nigerian Electricity Consumers Still On Estimated Billing – NERC

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Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has expressed regret that almost 60% of electricity users in Nigeria are still on estimated billing.

It also said that the number of customers that are yet to be metered had reduced by about 3.89 million, representing 40.26%.

In its latest quarterly report released in Abuja last weekend, the Commission, however, said the number of registered electricity customers connected to the grid in Nigeria increased to 9,674,729.  

The report, which represents the third quarter 2019 report said that 5.8 million Nigerians, which represent 59.7% of registered consumers, were still getting billed by estimates.

The report further disclosed that only Abuja and Benin distribution companies had metered more than 50% of their registered electricity customers as at the end of September 2019. The metering gap for end-use customers is still a key challenge in the industry.

The commission records show that the 9.67 million registered electricity customers; only 3.89 million (40.26%) were metered as at the end of the third quarter of 2019. Thus, 59.74% of the registered electricity customers are still on estimated billing, which has contributed to customer apathy towards payment for electricity.

In comparison to the second quarter of 2019, the number of registered and metered customers increased by 8.93% and 1.65% respectively, he report said. The increase in registered customer population is due to the ongoing customer enumeration exercise by DisCos through which illegal consumers of electricity were brought unto the DisCos’ billing platform.

The Commission praised the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) scheme, pointing out that it had been essential in rolling out meters to all its unmetered customers. NERC had said in February that it issued an order to a cap estimated billing by electricity distribution companies to unmetered customers. The order, it said, would protect customers from unrealistic billing until the DisCos install prepaid meters.

Chibisi Ohakah

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