The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says more than four million electricity customers in Nigeria are still without prepaid meters.
In its 2018 second quarter report, the commission disclosed that out of 7,973,867 registered active electricity customers in the country, only 3,547,129 have been metered as of June 2018.
The report said the 4,426,738 electricity users who have not been issued meters are subjected to estimated billing, which contributes to customer apathy towards payment for electricity.
It added that only four electricity distribution companies (DisCos), which are Abuja, Benin, Eko and Port-Harcourt DisCos, had metered not less than 50 percent of their registered customers as at the end of the second quarter of 2018.
“Of the total of 7,973,867, registered active electricity customers, only 3,547,129 (44.5%) have been metered thus, 55.5% of end-use customers are still on estimated billing,” the report said.
“In comparison to the preceding quarter, the number of registered customers increased by 9.32%, while the percentage of metered customers increased by 3.29% indicating a greater increase in the registered customer population relative to the meter roll-out. The increase in the number of registered customers is attributable to the ongoing enumeration exercise by DisCos during which illegal consumers of electricity are captured on the billing platform of the DisCos nationwide.
“Notwithstanding the growth in the number of the metered customers, the total meters deployed by DisCos during the second quarter of 2018 are significantly lower than the expected quarterly metering deployment under the Performance Agreement for the privatisation transaction. Whereas the performance agreement with Bureau of Public Enterprises envisaged deployments of 1,640,411 per annum (i.e., quarterly average of 410,103), only 113,126 meters were installed by DisCos during the quarter under review.
“Metering of end user remains as a top priority to the Commission. To this end, the Commission continues to monitor the DisCos to ensure total compliance with the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulations that was recently launched.”