The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says 5.8 million electricity users in the country are still on estimated billing.
This is contained in the 2019 third-quarter report released by the commission.
This figure represents 59.7 per cent of the total registered electricity consumers in the country.
According to the report, only Abuja and Benin DisCos had metered more than 50 per cent of their registered electricity customers as at the end of September 2019.
“The metering gap for end-use customers is still a key challenge in the industry. The records of the commission indicate that, of the 9,674,729 registered electricity customers, only 3,895,497 (40.26 per cent) have been metered as at the end of the third quarter of 2019,” the commission said.
“Thus, 59.74 per cent of the registered electricity customers are still on estimated billing which has contributed to customer apathy towards payment for electricity. In comparison to the second quarter, the numbers of registered and metered customers increased by 8.93 per cent and 1.65 per cent respectively.
“The increase in registered customer population is due to the on-going customer enumeration exercise by DisCos through which illegal consumers of electricity were brought unto the DisCos’ billing platform.”
The NERC also attributed the increase in metered customers to the roll-out of meters under the meter assets provider (MAP) scheme.
In February, NERC had issued an order to cap estimated billing by electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to unmetered customers.
The order, it said, would protect customers from unrealistic billing until a prepaid meter is installed by the DisCos.
The NERC and the ministry of power have also set a target to close the metering gap by December 2021.