Despite the federal government promises, the sluggish growth in the number of prepaid meters installation persisted in first quarter 2023, Q1’23, with number of meters installed rising by quarter-on-quarter, QoQ by 3.95 per cent to 171,107 from 164,612 meters installed in the fourth quarter of 2022.
This means that the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos, are struggling to meet demand for prepaid meters by households and businesses.
It also means that the DisCos are still subjecting consumers to the abusive and exploitative estimated bills practice for payment of electricity consumed.
However, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, which disclosed this in its first quarter report, did not provide the month-on-month, MoM, and year-on-year, YoY details.
The report stated: “A total of 171,107 meters were installed in 2023/Q1, representing an increase of 6,495 installations (+3.95%) compared to the 164,612 meters installed in 2022/Q4.
“The new installations resulted in a 1.06 percentage points, pp increase in net end-user metering rate in the NESI between 2022/Q4 (42.25%) and 2023/Q1 (43.31%). 158,634 meters were installed under the MAP intervention while 9,931 meters were installed under the NMMP scheme.
“The Commission expects DisCos to utilise any of the five (5) meter financing mechanisms that have been provided in the 2021 Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations (NERC – R – 113 – 2021) to close their respective metering gaps.
“As a safeguard for customers against exploitation due to the lack of meters, the Commission has continued to issue monthly energy caps for all feeders in each DisCo. This sets the maximum amount of energy that may be billed to an unmetered customer for the respective month based on gross energy received by the DisCo and the consumption by metered customers.”
Already, NERC disclosed that many consumers have complained of various irregularities, stressing that, “The DisCos cumulatively received 249,683 complaints from consumers in 2023/Q1. This is 11,595 (4.44%) complaints less than those received in 2022/Q4. “In total, the DisCos resolved 229,101 complaints corresponding to a 91.76% resolution rate which is similar to the 91.38% recorded in 2022/Q4. Vanguard Report