It was reported in the This Day newspaper in Nigeria that power distribution companies have been told to install prepayment meters for urban customers.

The recommendation, by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), was in the ‘best interest of both the distribution companies and their customers’ according to NERC’s commissioner for government and consumer affairs, Grace Eyoma.

"The pre-paid meters would save the consumers the harrowing experience of crazy bills and mass-disconnections by the utility companies.

"It would also assist the consumers to efficiently manage their consumption patterns and conserve energy," she explained.

"There is plan to roll out these meters, especially in the urban centres. It will allow the operators have enough money to do their business and the banks will find it easier to do business with them.

"They will be able to get banks support because they can show them the cash flow. I think it is a much better arrangement and nobody will feel cheated that way."

The successful use of prepayment in the telecommunications industry was used as an example of the growing acceptance of the prepayment.

Prepayment is considered an alternative to the mass-disconnections which have been used on customers who don’t pay their electricity bills.