Stakeholders have advised the National Assembly enact laws on effective metering system to save electricity consumers from continuous exploitation through arbitrary billing.
They made the observation on Wednesday in Lagos at the ongoing public hearing by the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on customers’ complaints for electricity consumers in South-West Zone.
Dr Amos Awoniyi, a customer from Lekki area of Lagos, urged the House Committee to enact laws that would enforce effective metering system among distribution companies to reduce estimated billing.
Awoniyi urged other distribution companies to adopt EKEDC metering model to address the challenges of estimated billing being faced by electricity consumers.
“Electricity customers are entitled to effective metering system and accurate billings but most Discos would not do that because they made more money from estimated billings.
“The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) should start sanctioning Discos on arbitrary billing and shortchanging of customers through estimated billing,’’ he said.
According to Mrs Grace Adeoye, from Victoria Island, millions of households are still groaning under the weight of ‘crazy’ bills and poor power supply, four over years after the power sector was privatized.
“Many DisCos give consumers outrageous bills without recourse to the meters. Whether the meters are functional or not, they don’t want to know.
“NERC is supposed to put its feet down and stop this estimated billing. Once it is stopped, the power firms will be forced to supply meters to everybody when they start losing revenues, ”she said.
Another consumer, Alhaji Tajudeen Thompson, urged EKEDC to replace obsolete meters within its network, adding that virtually all meters installed in high density areas over 50 years ago were not functional.
In his remark, Mr Israel Famurewa, Chairman of the House Committee on Electricity Customer’s Complaints, condemned arbitrary billing by distribution companies in Nigeria.
Famurewa said the committee had received a lot of complaints and petitions on estimated billings, crazy bills and lack of meter from electricity consumers within the South-West Zone.
“It has gotten to a stage where if the House did not do anything about it, there may be a serious breakdown of law and order where people will take laws into their hands.
“The House in its wisdom constituted this committee to interface with the consumers, the Discos and the regulatory bodies. We are to find a lasting solution to the problem of the system.
We decided in Abuja to have a proper interaction with the Discos in different geo-political zones before we have the proper briefing in Abuja.
“We will look into the laws guiding the sector holistically, and see if there is need to amend. At the end of this, we are going to write our report if there is need to repeal some laws we will and if we need to re-enact we will do. We have a mandate to take report back to the house in six weeks,’’ he said