Electricity consumers may have cause to rejoice soon as the Federal Government has provided a N37 billion loan to Distribution Companies (DISCOs) for the provision of meters. Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola stated this at an event recently. The loan according to him, was part of the power sector recovery programme embarked on by the current administration. Mr Fashola also stated that the government was working on several projects to expand transmission capacity as the DISCOs were limited in the amount of electricity they could transmit.
Why this is great news
Consumers have complained greatly about over estimated billing due to a lack of meters. Estimated billing is when discos charge an arbitrary fee based on the average consumption of customers that have meters. Many have outrightly refused to pay their bills calling the bills excessive. DISCOs have also lamented their inability to metre consumers due to the poor revenue they received.
Provision of the meters will lead to an increase in revenues for the DISCOs as more consumers will pay their bills. Prepaid meters will also reduce the rate of electricity theft as the consumers will be forced to load the meters in order to have power. The increased revenue by the DISCOs cascades up the value chain as the DISCOs will pay down their debts to Generating Companies GENCOs which will in turn pay debts to gas suppliers. Increased revenue in the value chain also benefits commercial banks thatgave the companies loans to purchase these assets. Ban