Lawmakers meet stakeholders on electric meters

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

Prepaid electric meters.

The House of Representatives is to meet with all relevant stakeholders in the power sector to address the non-provision of meters to electricity consumers across Nigeria.

The House resolution followed a motion sponsored by Garba Mohammed from Kano, titled, “Need to stop the exploitation of electricity consumers by Electricity Distribution Companies through failure to provide them with meters.”

The motion came while the Adhoc Committee set up by the House, investigates alleged non-transparent transaction in the sale of power assets.

‘Breaking a promise’
Presenting the motion, Mr. Ibrahim expressed concern that the failure of Discos to provide metering facilities to consumers contravenes the Credit Advance Payment Agreements on metering initiatives signed before privatising the Discos.

According to Mohammed, “the proposals submitted by the core investors in the Discos during the privatisation of the power firms in 2013, showed that about 6.52 million new meters would be installed over the course of five years at the rate of more than one million yearly, but the companies have reneged on the agreement.”

The lawmakers unanimously agreed that although many customers have paid for the meter, the failure of the Discos to deliver and install the meters affected investments and businesses negatively, especially in rural communities.

Data from the Discos indicated that as at December 2015, there were about 6.2million customer’s accounts with the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry with only about 3.2million or 52 percent of electricity users having so far been provided with meters.

As at March 2016, the 11 Discos had collectively provided meters for about 406,000 customers leaving a gap of about 2.6 million customers without meters being charged based on estimation.

At the investigative hearing conducted, members expressed concern over the lack of significant increase in power generation and distribution affecting the country’s economic progress.

The House of Rep. Deputy Minority Leader, Onyeama Chidoka, who represents Speaker Yakubu Dogara at the event, said “the overall aim of the exercise was to improve efficiency and turning the gain to other sector for diversification.”