Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued a two-year ultimatum to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to meter all customers.
Speaking at a public hearing on Extraordinary Tariff Review Application by Eko Distribution Company (EKEDC), in Lagos on Wednesday, Commissioner, Finance and Management Services, NERC, Nathan Rogers Shatti, said that the regulator has placed a cap on estimated billing system by Discos, to ensure those unmetered consumers pay approximately what those on prepaid meters pay.
He said the ultimatum becomes necessary having carefully studied the antics of DisCos especially in frustrating the Meter Asset Provider (MAP).
Shatti said consumers will no longer feel cheated because arbitrariness in the distribution of bill by Discos has created so much concern in the system.
He said the Regulator came up with the idea, having listened to consumers complaints and failure of the Discos to meter consumers.
The Commissioner said the Discos are not left with the option of metering consumers or bill according to laid down caps on the system.
He, however, dismissed April 1, 2020, as the commencement of new tariff regime saying that discussions, arguments and concerns from ongoing consultations would be first put into consideration before any increase will be adopted.
“We are still going round to listen to the people so all these will be put in perspective. If we don’t want stakeholders input we will just go ahead to do that but so long we believe in collective governance, every point raised will be considered before any decision is taken,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has urged the NERC to consider plights of electricity consumers in the proposed review of electricity tariff.
FCCPC Executive Vice Chairman and chief executive officer, Babatunde Irukera, said that the proposal for increment in tariff would not be appreciated by electricity customers due to epileptic power supply being experienced in the country.
He also said that there was a need to ensure regular electricity supply to justify the value for money paid by customers if they were to embrace the tariff review.
Earlier, Eko Disco, through its Head of Power Procurement Regulation, Mr Nosa Igbinedion, requested at the presentation for an increase in electricity tariff from the current N28.28kwh to N42.41kwh.