NERC Meters 40.3% of Electricity Consumers in Six Months
By Adedapo Adesanya
In the first six months of 2020, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said it metered a total of 4,234,759 electricity consumers that requested to be metered.
In its 2020 second-quarter report released on Wednesday, the regulatory agency for Nigeria’s electricity sector explained that the figure represents 40.3 per cent of the 10,516,090 customers that registered for the meters.
“Although there was a slight improvement during the quarter, the huge metering gap for end-use customers remains a key challenge in the industry,” a part of the report released in Abuja said.
“The records of the commission indicate that out of the 10,516,090 registered electricity customers as of June 30, 2020, only 4,234,759, which represents 40.27 per cent, have been metered.
“Thus, 59.73 per cent of the registered electricity customers are still on estimated billing.
“This has contributed to customer apathy towards payment for electricity bills,” it added.
NERC, however, said that in comparison with the first quarter of 2020, the numbers of registered and metered customers increased slightly by 0.36 per cent and 0.07 per cent respectively.
It said that the increase in registered customers was, in addition to the new connection, “due largely to the on-going customer enumeration exercise by Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) through which unregistered consumers were brought unto their billing platform.
“Similarly, the increase in metered customers was attributed to the roll-out of meters under the Meter Asset Provider scheme (MAP).
“A review of the customer population data indicates that Abuja, Benin and Eko DisCos had metered more than 50 per cent of their registered electricity customers as of 30 June 2020.
“This is to ensure speedy metering of electricity customers in order to meet the target of closing the metering gap in Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) by December 2021.”
In addition to securing waivers for the levy previously imposed on imported meters, NERC said it had continued monitoring DisCos’ implementation of and compliance with the provisions of the MAP regulations to fast-track meter roll-out.
The National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) is a metering initiative introduced by the federal government geared towards mass metering of Nigerians by providing loan facility to the DisCos (for the procurement of meters for its customers); and the local meter manufacturers (for the manufacturing and assembling of meters).