Monday, June 19, 2017

FG Set to Distribute Over 3 Million Prepaid Metres to Nigerians


FG Set to Distribute Over 3 Million Prepaid Metres to Nigerians

On Sunday in Lagos,the Minister of Power Babatunde Fashola reveal that more than three million prepaid meters are to be supplied under the Federal Government’s intervention programme. The intervention followed the incapacity of Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to meter all the houses of consumers across the country.

Fashola, who is also the Minister of Works and Housing, told the News Agency of Nigeria that in 2003 the government had awarded contract for the meters but they were not distributed. “In 2003, the government awarded a contract for three million meters but they were not supplied.

He said “I inherited it, they were in court and I am trying to take it out of the court so that we can settle and start to supply it.''

The former Lagos State Governor said that metering houses in the country was facing some challenges as there was no accurate database of actual consumers in the country.
He said: “There is a database of six million households; it is a faulty base because we have more than six million households in the country.

“There are four types of consumers – R1 (poorest consumer), R2, R3 and maximum demand consumers, and they are not on the same plan. ''DISCOs need to go into these houses, do an audit to determine the type of meters to install. “If you have a wrong meter, you will pay wrong price or bill.

A meter is both a safety device and a measuring device; it can under read or over read or cause fire if not properly installed.

“The DISCOs must provide meters, it is only fair and let the consumer manage his consumption and billing system because he has a meter.’’

Fashola described the challenges facing the nation's power sector problems as man-made, identified planning, human behavioral problem and way of life. Others are building of houses in difficult terrain without approval, lack of conservation culture and energy theft and power wastage.

“Some people will put on a 70 or 120-watt bulb as security light for 24 hours, including the daytime when they do not need it and it is because they have either stolen the energy or bypassed their meters.
The Minister said “

They are robbing DISCOs of huge sums of money as they may not be able to pay back the energy they bought for distribution.''


NAN said that electricity consumers should pay N25,000 (official), N35, 000 (fast-track) for a single-phase meter, while the three-phase models go for N50,000 and above. Consumers have been complaining of down payment for several months or a year for the meters without being supplied by DISCOs which has exposed consumers to the user-unfriendly estimated billing system or “crazy’’ bills.

 Prepayment meter was introduced in 1994 in Ghana, and in 2015 the importation of the meters cost Ghana Government $99.2 million.
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