By Solomon Asowata
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Friday said 62.63 per cent of electricity consumers in the country were on estimated billing as at September 2020.
NERC stated this in the 2019 to Quarter 3, 2020 Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) Key Financial and Operational Data, obtained from its website by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The document showed that only Eko Electricity Distribution Company and Ikeja Electric Plc had metered over 50 per cent of their customers as at the review period.
The huge metering gap for electricity customers, according to NERC, remains a key challenge in the industry.
The data showed that out of the 11,841,819 registered electricity customers as at the end of the third quarter of 2020, only 4,425, 628 (37.37 per cent) have been metered.
“Thus, 7, 416,191 representing 62.63 per cent of the registered electricity customers are still on estimated billing,” the document revealed.
The metering status of the DisCos as at September 2020 showed that the Benin DisCo had 47.42 per cent; Abuja, 48.66 per cent; Eko, 51.68 per cent; Ikeja, 51.09 per cent and Enugu, 43.77 per cent.
Others are: Port Harcourt, 39.64 per cent; Ibadan, 27.97 per cent; Jos, 29.04 per cent; Kaduna, 22.56 per cent; Kano, 21.40 per cent and Yola,19.03 per cent.
NAN reports that the the Federal Government had on Oct. 30, 2020 flagged off the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) to meet the target of closing the metering gap in the NESI by December 2021.
The programme would assist in reducing collection losses, while at the same time, increasing financial flows to achieve 100 per cent market remittance obligation of the DisCos.
Part of the objectives is the elimination of arbitrary estimated billing, improving network monitoring capability and provision of data for market administration and investment decision-making, the document noted. (NAN)