Reps tackle estimated billing as bill to criminalise it passes 3rd reading

Reps tackle estimated billing as bill to criminalise it passes 3rd reading

- Estimated billing in Nigeria may soon become a thing of the past as lawmakers are working round the clock to make it a reality

- A bill to criminalise estimated billing in the country has passed third reading at the House of Representatives

- The bill was sponsored by the leader of the House and member of the APC, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila

A bill for an Act to amend the Electric Power Reform Act to prohibit and criminalise estimated billing by the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) has passed third reading in the House of Representatives.

The House unanimously voted in favour of the bill when it was put to voice vote by the deputy speaker, Rep Yussuf Lassun (APC-Osun), at the plenary on Tuesday, January 22, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Legit.ng gathers that the bill, which was sponsored by the leader of the House, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), had scaled public hearing on June 5, 2018.

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During the public hearing, Gbajabiamila said there was nowhere in the world where electricity customers were billed arbitrarily as the case in Nigeria.

The leader said the estimated billing could only be used in situations where the meter of the consumers could not be accessed by the energy company.

He argued that the DisCos had accepted estimated billing as the normal practice by making accurate and exact billing the exception.

Gbajabiamila said just as Nigerians were most united when the Super Eagles were playing the game of soccer, they were equally united against estimated billings.

He said: “Any regulation that allows estimation of bills when the actual consumption can be ascertained is against natural justice and equity and should not stand."

The lawmaker said the bill, when passed, will end the estimated billing by the DisCos, stressing that it would bring about a win-win situation for both the consumers and the companies.

Gbajabiamila added: “The bill will ensure that prepaid meters are installed in all houses, so long as the customers applied for the meters."

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Babatunde Fashola, the minister of power, works and housing, said that the federal government was doing its best to bring about a new generation of businessmen in Nigeria’s electricity sector.

Speaking on Sunday, January 20, in the Alaka area of Lagos, Fashola revealed that the businesses would be mainly in the metering segment of the sector, which he noted was presently going through tough times.

He went on to say that not less than 108 firms had registered with federal government to take over electricity metering supply to customers and ensure that Nigerians were properly metered.

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Source: Legit.ng

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