The latest quarterly report of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has revealed a wide metering gap among electricity users with 59.74% of the consumer population yet to have access to prepaid meters.
This comes to 5,779,232 of the total electricity consumers in Nigeria with only 3,895,497 metered so far.
A major setback to the distribution segment of the power value chain, dearth of meter supply has tremendously contributed to consumers’ apathy towards electricity bill payment as higher electricity tariffs are expected to take effect next month.
The NERC admits the revenue constraints faced by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading company (NBET) in the third quarter of last year during which the power Distribution Companies (Discos) in the country settled just N58.81 billion out of the outstanding sum of N179.66 billion on their invoice.
“Notwithstanding the slight progress recorded in the third quarter of 2019, the financial viability of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) is still a major challenge threatening its sustainability,” the regular says.
Among the eleven Discos in the country, only the Benin and the Abuja Discos surpassed 50% metering of their customer base.
The moderate improvement in meter supply derived from the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) initiative which aimed at speeding up meter delivery to users “through the engagement of third-party investors for the financing, procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of electricity meters.”
The NERC, in synergy with the Ministry of Power, has assured it would bridge the metering gap come the end of 2021.
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