403,255 Meters To Be Provided To Consumers in 2 Years By Nigeria Electricity Firms | Independent Newspapers Limited
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403,255 Meters To Be Provided To Consumers in 2 Years By Nigeria Electricity Firms

Posted: Apr 19, 2016 at 10:00 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

MeterPostThe 11 electricity distribution companies, DISCOs, in Nigeria, have collectively provided 403,255 meters to their customers over the last two years in an effort to bridge the metering gap in the country.

Out of a total of 6,159,775 customer accounts in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), only 3,206,599 customers, or 52 per cent, have so far been provided meters, leaving a gap of 2,953,176 unmetered customers.

But, the acting chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), Anthony Akah, said on Tuesday in Abuja that since November 1, 2013 when the 11 DISCOs took over operations of the industry, they have collectively provided 403,255 customers with meters as at March 2016.

Out of the figure, the chairman said the provision of about 151,724 meters, or 38 per cent, were financed directly by the DISCOs.

The balance of 251,531 meters, or over 60 per cent, were financed by the customers through the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme initiated by NERC to close the wide metering gap in the electricity industry.

Mr.Akah, who was addressing chief executive officers of the 11 DISCOs and electricity meter manufacturing companies, warned against attempts to manipulate customers’ electricity consumption data through the installed meters.

The chairman threatened to treat perpetrators of such act by any of the DISCOs as criminals, saying the Commission was not satisfied with the poor implementation of the metering plans by the companies.

“The low number of metered customers by the 11 electricity distribution companies since the privatisation of the power sector is unacceptable by the Commission,” he said, pointing out that the situation was even more disgusting with NERC already in the process of winding down the CAPMI Programme. ‘’In line with the policy thrust of the Ministry of Power, NERC will work progressively to wind down the CAPMI scheme. As NERC, we are going beyond our regulatory boundaries, because the DISCos have not embraced the scheme as they should.

He said consumers have been complaining of unfair electricity bills monthly, saying their complaints were not against the tariff as much as absence of a noticeable improvement in supply lately.

He said NERC would soon commence a massive monitoring programme to determine the number of consumers that have paid for electricity meter and were still served estimated bills, as their meters were yet to be delivered.

Urging the Commission not to wind down the CAPMI scheme, Benin and Port Harcourt DISCos accused the consumers of frustrating their efforts by resisting the metering plan, while others in the communities were in the habit of tampering and manhandling their staff.