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Better days for consumers without prepaid meters, DISCOs estimated billings to be reduced

Only 1.62 million Nigerian consumers are with Prepaid Meters (PPM) at the end of the second quarter of 2018. This shows an increase of 1.59% from 1.59 million customers in the previous quarter of Q1 2018



The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has concluded plans to put limits on the idea of estimated billings, currently used by the 11 Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs), as a result of numerous complains of bogus bills from electricity consumers nationwide, after five years of power sector privitasation.

According to NERC in a released report ‘Consultation Paper on the Capping of Estimated Billing’, the commission rejected the estimated billing methodology which began almost six years ago, describing it as a total failure. It explained that the major source of complaints by all DISCOs customers is the problem of estimated billings by the electricity distribution companies.

NERC went on to add that stakeholders have been calling on the Commission to find a more impartial way of billing customers, in order to ensure that consumers are fairly billed.

Estimated Billing Methodology

Meanwhile, the regulation on estimated billing methodology was established by NERC to provide for the standardization of the methods used by DISCOs to estimate a consumer’s power usage and bills accruing, thereby, in instances where the DISCOs is unable to read the consumer’s bill within a billing period.

According to the privatisation programme, the 11 DISCOs have contractual obligation to meter all their customers within five years, as contained in the performance agreement they signed with the Federal Government of Nigeria. However, this metering obligation is yet to be fully met by the distribution companies, leading to mountain of complaints by the consumers.

According to the Commission, the issue brought about the introduction of the Methodology for Estimated Billing, which is structured to ensure that non-metered electricity consumers are billed with scientifically-generated estimates.

Consumers With Prepaid Meters

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Power Sector Report for the second quarter of 2018, only 1.62 million Nigerian consumers are with Prepaid Meters (PPM) at the end of the second quarter of 2018. This shows an increase of 1.59% from 1.59 million customers in the previous quarter of Q1 2018.

The NBS report also revealed that out of the 1.62 million prepaid-metered customers in Q2 2018, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) accounted for the highest number of customers with 282,868, which is the same number of customers they also metered in Q1 2028. They are closely followed by Abuja Disco with 270,918 metered customers and Ibadan Disco with 254,261 in that order. The least total number of metered customers during the period under review was recorded by Yola Disco with a total of 37,329 customers.

Estimated Billing vs Prepaid-Meter Billing

With just a total of 1.62 million estimated-meter consumers at the end of the quarter ending June 2018 and a quarter on quarter PPM increase of just 1.59% from the previous quarter of Q1 2018, it clearly shows that majority of Nigerian consumers are still without prepaid meters. The report equally shows that most of the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) are not ready to issue consumers with PPM, as most of them recorded a PPM increase of 0% in Q2 2018, which means no PPM was issued out to consumers during the period under review. Out of the 11 DISCOs operating in Nigeria, only 3 of them issued PPM to their consumers throughout the second quarter of 2018.

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Business News

Nigeria’s revenue crisis may further worsen as India cuts oil imports by $39.5 billion

The revenue to be earned by Nigeria has come under further threat due to India’s drop in crude oil importation.



Now that oil is recovering, when will naira recover?

The revenue to be earned by Nigeria has come under further threat due to India’s drop in crude oil importation.

Data from India’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed that the country, which took over from the United States as Nigeria’s largest crude oil importer, reduced crude oil imports by $39.5 billion in April, compared to the same time the previous year.

According to a report from Punch, the Indian High Commission in Nigeria said that India’s crude oil imports from Nigeria in 2020 amounted to $10.03 billion, representing 17% of Nigeria’s total crude exports for the year.

India has been badly hit by a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic which led to a spike in infections in April and lockdown in major cities with the attendant negative effect on Nigeria’s oil sales.

The NNPC was prompted to drop the official standard price of its main export streams, Bonny Light, Brass River, Erha, and Qua Iboe, by 61-62 cents per barrel, below its April 2021 prices. They traded at $0.9, $0.8, $0.65, $0.97 per barrel respectively, below international benchmarks, as showed.

India had been a major buyer of the not-too-light and not-too-heavy Nigerian crude that suited its refiners with the Indian Oil Corporation’s refineries reported to be operating at 95% capacity in April, down from 100%.

An official at the IOC was quoted as saying, “If cases continue to rise and curbs are intensified, we may see cuts in refinery runs and lower demand after a month.”

India reportedly bought more American and Canadian oil at the expense of Africa and the Middle East, reducing purchases from members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to around 2.86 million barrels per day.

Bottom line

This is not good news for Nigeria which is facing a serious revenue crisis as a result of a drop in crude oil receipts.

The federal government is also being forced by the prevailing realities to consider cutting the cost of governance and reducing the salaries of government workers. The latter proposal has, however, been criticized by various stakeholders.

A slump in crude oil demand from Nigeria’s major buyer will further worsen the economic crisis the country is facing having just marginally recovered from a recession in the last quarter of 2020.

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Insecurity: Police to investigate threats by IPOB, Oodua Republic agitators in Lagos

The Lagos State Police Commissioner has revealed that threats by IPOB and Oodua Republic have come under its intelligence radar.



The Nigerian Police says it will investigate threats made by separatist groups including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and agitators of Oodua Republic to attack soft targets in Lagos.

This was disclosed by Hakeem Odumosu, Commissioner of Police in Lagos State in a meeting to discuss insecurity in the state at Alausa in Ikeja, on Monday, according to a Vanguard report.

What the Police is saying about alleged IPOB and Oodua Republic threats in Lagos

“Our intelligence report revealed that, most miscreants now: Use abandoned buildings as hideouts and in most cases, initiation camp, use uncompleted buildings, dwelling house and hotels to hibernate before and after the commission of a crime,” the Police Chief said.

Furthermore, the threat of IPOB to attack soft targets in Lagos is equally being put on the radar of the command intelligence gathering and other security services in the state. Strategies are being put in place to neutralize their activities.

Similarly, the command has taken notice of agitators for the Oodua Republic by some Yoruba separatist groups and the threats to disrupt law and order in the state. 24 of these groups have been identified and are being closely monitored.

The command is using this medium to solicit for the support of all and sundry to be vigilant at all times and report any suspicious person or movement to security agencies. Let us adopt the slogan of “when you see something, say something,” he added.

What you should know

Today, the Lagos State Police Command said in a statement that: “Increase in robbery incidents were as a result of people migrating from troubled states down to Lagos. The government and relevant security agencies including RRS are doing their best in protecting members of the public.”

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