Engr. Ombuyadu Garba, Chairman, Apapa Branch, Nigerian Society of Engineers, (NSE) has called for a wholesome metering of electricity consumers to improve billing accuracy.
Speaking in Lagos at an NSE workshop on “Effective Metering In Nigeria: A Win-Win Approach’, Garba said that wholesome metering of electricity would help reduce high rate of customer complaints over estimated billing.
According to Garba, there is the need for every electricity consumer to have value for what he or she is paying for.
”As at today, there is a great challenge as to metering all consumers of electricity and that is why we are calling on those in authority to resolve this problem.
”The power sector has been privatised and it is the responsibility of the Discos to meter every house so that consumers will know exactly the amount of power they are consuming and paying for.
”But it is unfortunate that these Discos are not in a hurry to provide consumers with meters because the estimated mode of billing is more profitable for them.
”The evil of the estimated mode is that the DisCos can give you bill even when they did not supply any electricity in the billing period, and not feel that they have done something wrong.
”But when effective metering is put in place, the consumer will be happy to pay for the power he has consumed and it will even boost bill collections by electricity distribution companies (DisCos), ” he said
Engr Garba urged the DisCos to live up to their responsibilities to grow better and meet the needs of Nigerians.
”The GENCos generate 7000MW of electricity but DisCos only distribute 5000MW, DisCos are struggling to distribute the remaining 2000MW because they do not have proper equipment and capacity, ” he said
Earlier in his keynote address, Engr. Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, Vice President, Nigerian society of Engineers said that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is intensifying efforts to maintain a standard and unified method of estimated electricity billing pending when the entire industry would be metered.
He said that series of policies were already being implemented to resolve the shortcomings of the power sector privatisation programmes as well as close the metering gap in the country.
”Even with privatisation, metering gap is still wide as only 40 per cent of customers are metered. This gap is partly as a result of lack of competent local manufacturers of metres and lack of energy metering experts.
”As a regulatory body we are engaging all stakeholders to resolve these problems to close the metering gap and improve billing efficiency to enhance customer satisfaction, ” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, said that many businesses that could not afford to constantly generate alternative energy suffered huge set back due to outrageous estimated bills.
”Addressing metering challenges in the country is not about quality policy but poor implementation.