✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Mass metering: DISCO Vs. NERC

It is said, when two elephants fight, it is the grass that will suffer. In the recent report available to the public, the Nigerian Electricity…

It is said, when two elephants fight, it is the grass that will suffer. In the recent report available to the public, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) reiterated that the obligation to ensure that all electricity consumers have meters remained with the Disco under Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018. The deadlines for consumers metering have continued to lapse. Lately, it was alleged that the Executive Director, ANED, Mr. Sunday Oduntan said that metering was no longer the responsibility of Discos.

These words kept consumers wondering if the comprehensive metering enshrined in the performance agreements signed with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is no longer tenable.

The anticipated power reform act sponsored by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila for compulsory installation of Pre-paid Meters in favor of all Power Consumers in Nigeria hangs in the balance.

When I checked the definition of estimate from the Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary by A.S. Hornby, it hasn’t change from,  a judgment that you make without having the exact details or figures about size, amount, cost, etc. of something. It is therefore a guess work, a world of uncertainty haunted by corruption, where transparency no longer matters and opportunities for officials to cut corners reigned supreme.

The continued use of estimated billing and bulk metering therefore is grave injustice to millions of Nigerians who want prepaid meters. And I think after 57 years of bumpy crawling, we should now walk if we can’t fly in power sector. It is worth emphasizing that the estimated billing has left many businesses in excruciating pain and forced some to shut down.

Not metering customers is prolonging the agony of Nigerians. Democracy is enjoyed today because of those that fought for it, men and women had offered their lives to defend our freedoms. The various inventions we enjoyed today were as result of the hard-fought achievements by those inventors who cared so deeply to change lives.

The information available to the public domain indicated that the federal government had consistently waded into the issue of metering through various means, yet the nettle covers with fine hairs continued to sting when touched. Who will help Nigerians pull the root of the nettle? Again, the NERC has promised mass metering will begin on 1st May, 2019, we hope it make do its promise this time.

The power sector in the world is one of the most profitable businesses and Nigeria cannot be an exemption. The fear of a reduced inflow of revenue if all consumers are metered would only be in the short run barring efficient management.

It is a general believe that Disco are reluctant to provide prepaid meter because they make more money from estimated bills. The fact is, some consumers are ready to buy and enjoy a fair billing but when the prepaid meters are not available what can they do? To the ordinary people in the street, prepaid meter is like a sim card that was pretty hard to obtain initially but now offered free by the telecommunication operators.

An ordinary man in the street will not understand why any company would not be interested in universal metering of consumers, if prepaid meters are given to consumers, the energy spent on debt recovery by Disco will vanish, revenue collection will improve, operation cost will reduce and it will help its consumers improve their energy efficiency.

If we consider the several options of sources of power opened to us in Nigeria, one would wonder why we are not fully utilizing other sources of energy like coal, wind, solar thermal, biomass and waste and that is the reason we are still swimming in the paltry less than 10,000 megawatts.

‘Up Nepa’ is as old as Methuselah but he died at a point, the metering of Nigerians will offer a befitting burial for ‘Up Nepa’.

The Next level of fixing energy challenge by the APC Led government will have a spiral effect on the economy and will score the government very high.

Olusanya Anjorin, Lagos.

Join Daily Trust WhatsApp Community For Quick Access To News and Happenings Around You.

Do you need your monthly pay in US Dollars? Acquire premium domains for as low as $1500 and have it resold for as much as $17,000 (₦27 million).

Click here to see how Nigerians are making it.