Expected, criminalized billing – repetitions -Nigerian




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By Elizabeth Uwandu

The outrage of Nigerians over an outrageous valued billing system by the electricity distribution companies' discos could soon be over, as members of the House of Representatives recently passed a law criminalizing their estimated billing in the country.

The estimation of bills is a long-standing practice of utility companies when an actual meter reader is not available for billing purposes.

However, there are frequent allegations that the discos have purposely abandoned the meter reading in order to impose unimaginable (crazy) bills on users in order to generate more revenue without providing adequate service.

Femi Gbajabiamila, sponsor of the bill and majority leader of the house, said: "It is not justified to continuously charge consumers for unused electricity."

The bill was recently approved during the deliberations of the lower chamber on the report of the Power Committee. The bill put forward by Yusuf Lasun, the deputy spokesman for the house, would, among other things, penalize estimated accounting and make the installation of prepaid meters mandatory for all power consumers in Nigeria.

However, since the adoption of the bill, some stakeholders have included Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Labor and Housing; The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) have objected to the bill, pointing out that the bill would worsen the country's electricity supply.

Fashola said that the bill could destroy the power sector, noting that the financial challenges of measuring must first be resolved.

He added, "I assume we all know what the core mandate is. Your (DisCos) core mission is energy supply. I believe that new players should be given the license to have the delivery of counters as their primary duty to relieve the DisCos.

"Energy theft and counter bypass must also be addressed by imposing heavy penalties on offenders," said the Minister of State.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's Power Holding Company, PHCN officials, is in the process of taking stock of all old meters in view of the NERC deadline of 28 February.

The Nigerian Regulatory Commission for Electricity has stipulated that all DISCO electricity distribution companies must provide and install an electronic prepaid meter for all subscribers.

The NERC chairman lamented that Nigerians are suffering enough because they have been stolen by faceless corrupt officials about the inhuman billing system, where they pay for what they do not use.

"It's better to have the prepaid counter and no light than light without a prepaid counter.

"The logic is simple: if you have a prepaid counter, you pay only for what you use, no estimated bills, no light fall, no theft from you, no-nonsense and if they do not provide power FEIN! Make money from you. "He noticed.

According to NERC … Our problem with PHCN in Nigeria is not a power supply. Our problem is the internal administration (management). The solution is proper administration.

"With prepaid meters, PHCN will get started and start to perform, knowing that they will not make free money when they are not delivering power.

"They know that, so they continue to sabotage it so that they can continue the robbery, which is the valued billing system that overstrains users and gets as fat as the telecoms companies that need to provide a network or otherwise no money for them when people do not use their airtime and data.

"Nigerians need to stop asking about the power supply, that's not the solution." "Sticking to your prepaid counter, it's your right and the solution to the massive plundering of the power distribution companies." He showed.



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