Last week, the Nigerian governors expressed their views with regards to ‘the unjustified high electricity bills imposed on consumers by distribution companies.’
The development followed a motion sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye from Kogi West, who lamented that the inability to effectively meter consumers has left the customers at the mercy of Discos, through estimated billings, THIS DAY reported.
Media cited Melaye stating that the privatisation process, which saw the sale of power assets has been unable to ensure the positive transformation of the sector.
He said: “The customer had expected upon take-over by the new owners, that metering would be one of the issues that will be urgently addressed to restore confidence in the industry, as this is the only way to determine actual consumption, instead the Discos came with astronomical monthly increase in the name of cost reflective tariff.”
“Observes that a two or three bedroom apartment receives a monthly bill of N25,000 ($78) to N40,000 ($126) respectively, this will no doubt impact negatively on our fight against corruption as a man on N18,000 ($56) monthly minimum wage with electricity bill of N25,000 ($79) monthly, will do anything possible to settle his electricity bills,” Melaye added.
High electricity bills – inefficiency system
Contributing to the debate, Senator Bukar Mustapha (Katsina North) said the major problem is the inefficiency in the system. Read more…
Mustapha noted: “Nigeria has an installed capacity of 12,522MWof power. We have non-availability of 5,300MW. We have non-operational capacity of 3,180MW; meaning that the amount that is actually available is just over 4,000MW out of 12,500MW.”
He added: “We have transmission loss of 228MW; we have distribution loss of 447MW. At the end of the day, only 3,800MW reaches the consumer. And we have commercial loss of more than 36%. So, what is actually being paid for out of the over 3,000MWis only 1,800MW.”
He noted that unless the inefficiencies within the value chain are addressed for efficient generation, distribution and billing systems, the problems would remain the same.
Meanwhile, Bukar said: “On Monday, we visited a meter testing facility, because each meter has to be tested. But there is no capacity to test the millions of meters in Nigeria. The discos are supposed to provide the meters, they do not have the money and technical capacity to provide these meters. So it means we have to revisit this as urgently as possible.”
Featured image source: ACS Surveyors