Despite FG’s Mass Metering Programme, Over 6.86 Million Electricity Consumers Not Metered–Report

Out of the 10.37 million electricity consumers in Nigeria, about 6.86 million representing 66.15 per cent are currently without prepaid meters and are therefore on estimated billing system.

Estimated billing is a system of charging unmetered electricity consumers for electrical energy consumed based on their previous usage, without considering the actual quantity of energy consumed.

Consumers in this system are mandated to pay far above what they consumed on monthly basis.

The Federal Government had in 2020 commenced a mass metering initiative to put an end to estimated electricity billing regime in Nigeria.
Under the mass metering initiative, the government plans to distribute over six million electricity meters free to Nigerians.

But data for the electricity sector which was prepared by the National Bureau of Statistics, showed that the number of estimated customers has been on an upward trend.

For instance, the figure in 2015 was 3.85 million and rose to 4.19 million unmetered customers in 2016.

In 2017, it rose by 4.28 per cent when 4.37 million customers were recorded before rising to 5.05 million in 2018 and grew by 14.08 per cent in 2019 when 5.76 million customers were recorded.

The positive trend continued in 2020 with estimated customers hit 6.86 million, according to figures from the NBS.

The NBS Report stated further that the estimated customers as at 2020 based on DisCos were highest in Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company with 1,282,136, followed by Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company and Eko Electricity Distribution Company with 1,121,722 and 762,311 respectively.

THE WHISTLER had reported how electricity consumers are being intimidated and frustrated by officials of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, and the Licensed Electrical Contractors Association of Nigeria (LECAN) while seeking prepaid meters.

It was reported that unless you’re willing to grease their palms to ‘fast track’ your meter application or prepared to engage in fervent prayers, a consumer may have to wait for “a very long time” before their application is approved and their device installed.

Several power consumers in the FCT confirmed to this website that despite the Federal Government’s declaration that prepaid meters were free, some of them were made to pay.

Officials were accused of demanding between N15,000 and up to N90,000 to help “fast track” approval and installation of prepaid meters which, according to the Federal Government, were supposed to be distributed freely to electricity consumers under the Government’s National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) which kicked off in late 2020.

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