The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said on Saturday at least 62.3 percent of electricity consumers in the country were still on estimated billing as at December last year.
The commission disclosed this in its Fourth Quarter 2019 Report published on its website.
It said: “Inadequate metering remains a serious challenge in the industry, with only 3,918,322 (37.77 percent) of the total customer population of 10,374,597 metered.
“With 62.37 percent of the end-use customers on estimated billing, huge collection losses due to customer apathy have posed a serious challenge to the viability and sustainability of the industry.”
According to NERC, the numbers of registered and metered customers increased by 699,850 (7.23 percent) and 22,825 (0.59 percent) respectively during the period.
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The commission revealed that the increase in the number of registered customers was due to the ongoing enumeration exercise by DisCos while the increase in metered customers was as a result of the roll-out of meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) schemes.
NERC added: “The Commission notes with concern that the additional 22,825 end-use customers’ meters installed during the fourth quarter fell significantly from the 83,768 meters installed during the third quarter.
“This poses a risk to the Commission’s goal of closing the metering gap in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) by December 31, 2021.
“Although some MAPs have not fully commenced meter deployments, the low metering recorded during the quarter was partly due to an increase of 35 percent in import duty on meter components.”