The House of Representatives, after series of complaints by Nigerians, commenced a process to prohibit the issuance of estimated bills to consumers by electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).
The bill, which has scaled third reading on the floor of the lower legislative chamber, seeks to put an end to the estimated billing system and the system of paying for power not consumed.
The passage of the bill would ensure that electricity consumers must be provided with a prepaid meter.
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The bill seeks to amend the principal Act by creating new sections 68 to 72, which states that (Section 68 - (1)) estimated billing methodology is hereby prohibited in Nigeria.
In subsection (2), it provides that “Every electricity consumer in Nigeria shall apply to the Electricity Distribution Company carrying out business within his jurisdiction for a pre-paid meter and such consumer shall pay the regulated fee for pre-paid meter to be installed in his premises and the Electricity Distribution Company shall within 30 days of receiving the application and payment install the pre-paid meter applied for in the premises of the consumer.”
Following this development, NOIPolls, Nigeria's foremost polling services provider, presents excerpts from the results and findings of its national survey on pre-paid meter ownership in Nigeria which was conducted in 2017.
The survey, according to NOIPolls, revealed that ownership of fixed pre-paid metering is limited to only 9% of the population as the time this survey was conducted.
More findings from NOIPolls's 2017 national survey indicated that the rest of the population is divided among 41% who use post-paid meters and 50% who do not have a meter but simply pay fixed amounts of money for electricity.
Being the most efficient way to distribute electricity, usage of pre-paid meters is highest in the southeast zone (13%) and lowest in the north central and northwest (7% apiece). Electric power usage in most cases is charged to non-urban users based on estimates that do not account for periods of power failure that are often prolonged. As expected, urban residents are twice as likely as rural residents to have pre-paid meters, the survey notes.
According to the 2018 fourth quarter power report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the total number of electricity consumers with prepaid meters supplied by the 11 distribution companies (DisCos) in the country are 1,669,675.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said power generation had reduced due to an emergency maintenance by Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) on pipeline supplying gas to Egbin, Omotosho, Olorunsogo and Paras power stations.
Ndidi Mbah, TCN’s general manager of the public affairs in a statement on Saturday, April 27, said the maintenance led to the total shutdown of the four power generating plants on April 25.
Mbah said the maintenance on the pipeline was reportedly caused by a leakage discovered on the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline system.
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