The Federal Government has directed new owners of power distribution firms to provide all electricity consumers with meters as soon as they take over the successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
It advised that the new power firms should accord priority to the metering of their customers nationwide.
The Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, who stated this, added that crazy billing by power firms would not be tolerated.
He spoke on behalf of the government at a two-day workshop organised by the NERC for the successor companies and other stakeholders in Abuja.
He said, “The new PHCN successor companies should see metering of all their customers immediately they take over ownership of the PHCN companies as their major priority to avoid bills estimation.”
Amadi said power firms often cheat their customers whenever they estimated electricity consumption bills.
He emphasised that the Federal Government would not condone such practice henceforth.
The NERC boss explained that in the new power reform agenda, both the accounts of the distribution companies and their customers should be balanced and maintained.
He noted that one of the concerns of the commission was to ensure that the rights of the discos and their customers were not tampered with.
He stressed that one of the rights was to meter electricity consumers.
According to Amadi, metering all electricity consumers would assist the customers to effectively monitor their energy usage as well as enable the Discos to determine their revenue.
He stressed that the Discos would know the exact number of customers they had when all power consumers were metered.
Amadi observed that the Multi Year Tariff Order 2 of the Nigeria Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005 provided money for Discos for losses incurred by them in the metering of customers.
The NERC chairman said the commission would need to reach an agreement with the Discos on how long it would take the power firms to ensure that all their customers were metered.
Amadi said previously, a period of 18 months was given to the PHCN to meter all its customers, but it was unable to meet the target.
Earlier in his address, the representative of the Discos, Mr. Roberk Yates, said metering of customers would increase the expenses of the power firms.
He urged the government to give enough time to the Discos, stressing that it might be tough to meter all electricity consumers.
The new owners of the power firms are expected to take over their respective companies on November 1, 2013.
Information from Punch was used in this report.