The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), on Saturday said 62.3 per cent of electricity consumers in the country were still on estimated billing as at December 2019.
NERC made this known in its Fourth Quarter 2019 Report on its website in Lagos.
The commission said: “Inadequate metering remains a serious challenge in the industry, with only 3,918,322 (37.77 per cent ) of the total customer population of 10,374,597 metered.
“With 62.37 per cent of the end-use customers on estimated billing, huge collection losses due to customer apathy have posed a serious challenge to the viability and sustainability of the industry.”
It said in comparison to the third quarter of 2019, the numbers of registered and metered customers increased by 699,850 (7.23 per cent) and 22,825 (0.59 per cent) respectively.
NERC said the increase in the number of registered customers was attributable to the on-going enumeration exercise by DisCos while the increase in metered customers was due to the roll-out of meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) schemes.
It said: “The commission notes with concern that the additional 22,825 end-use customers’ meters installed during the fourth quarter fell significantly from the 83,768 meters installed during the third quarter.
“This poses risk to the Commission’s goal of closing the metering gap in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) by Dec. 31, 2021.
“Although some MAPs have not fully commenced meter deployments, the low metering recorded during the quarter was partly due to the increase of 35 per cent in import duty on meter components.
NERC said it was already working with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning toward addressing those issues in order to fast-track meters roll-out.
It said during the period under review, only Abuja, Eko, Enugu, Ikeja, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt DisCos metered additional customers.
According to NERC, the metering status of the DisCos as at December 2019 is: Benin DisCo, 53.71 per cent; Abuja, 52.39 per cent; Eko, 46.67 per cent; Ikeja, 40.38 per cent and Jos,
31.71 per cent. Others are: Port Harcourt, 38.34 per cent; Ibadan, 32.21 per cent; Kaduna, 22.2 per cent; Kano, 18.36 per cent; Enugu , 41.26 per cent and Yola, 18.75 per cent. The commission said it would continue to monitor the DisCos to ensure total compliance with the MAP regulations.