Electricity distribution companies (Discos) have said they lose more than N30 billion of their monthly income to energy theft, vandalism, meter bypass and unsettled electricity bills by consumers.
The Discos, which spoke through their umbrella body, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) on Thursday, said over 40 per cent of power consumers do not pay their bills but rather resort to illegal electricity connection.
Sunday Oduntan, Executive Director, Research and Advocacy at ANED, said the issues made up the bulk of Discos’ Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection losses.
The Discos consequently called for effective legislation against energy theft to protect revenues and boost performance in the power sector.
“There is a need for effective legislation by the National Assembly to checkmate energy theft in the country as the practice is costing the power sector billions of naira monthly.
“The power sector is currently grappling with a liquidity shortfall of over N1.5tn occasioned by a combination of adverse conditions among which is the high rate of energy theft,” Mr Oduntan said.
In a presentation during a Senate public hearing earlier this week, the power distributors showed an instance where out of the N27.7 billion billed for energy consumed in 2019 by unmetered customers, just N5.2 billion was recovered.
“On average, each Disco loses about N3bn every month on these challenges and for the 10 Discos who are our members, the monthly losses are over N30bn,” Oduntan said.
He stated that power firms were striving to ensure availability of meters in order to achieve better transparency to build customer confidence.
Meanwhile, the Discos have declared that the tariff hike planned to take effect from 1st July will be based on the hours of electricity supply available to customers.
Sale Mamman, the Power Minister, last week said the proposed tariff increment, which was extended by three months in April on account of the coronavirus outbreak and customer apathy, would come to force next week.
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