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NERC confirms metering of 3.434 million customers


The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has identified metering as a key challenge facing the power sector, as a little over 3.434 million (about 42 per cent) of the over 8.135 million registered electricity customers have been metered as at the end of the first quarter (Q1) 2018.This means that three in every five registered electricity consumers are unmetered.

The Commission made this known in its recently released Q1 report, stating that while the number of registered customers increased by 2.37 per cent over Q4 2017, the metered customers however declined by 3.9 per cent.NERC attributed the increase in the number of registered customers to the on-going enumeration exercise by distribution companies (DISCOs), which has helped them to discover illegal connections, and aptly register some individuals, who had previously consumed electricity through illegal connection to their networks.

The Commission also revealed that only two DisCos — Benin, and Port Harcourt, had metered up to 50 per cent of their customers as at the end of Q1, while Yola DisCo had the lowest metering rate at 21 per cent.Total electricity generated in Q1 was 8,511,481 megawatt hours (MWh), or two per cent less than generation in Q4 2017, despite increase in available generation units, while average capacity utilisation also dropped by 1.1 per cent.

Gas constraint is said to be largely responsible for stranded capacity that led to the decline in generation. Other factors include transmission line and distribution networks limitations, and water management.

Meanwhile, a total of ₦1.185 billion comprising of ₦1.02 billion from operational levy (market charges), and ₦166.86 million from other sources (licensing) were realised by the Commission in the review quarter. On the other hand, total expenditure by the Commission stood at ₦1.19 billion against ₦1.41 billion in Q4 2017.

Further comparison of NERC’s revenue and expenditure in quarter, showed an improvement in its financial performance relative to Q4 2017, as deficit reduced to ₦4.97million.Of the 108,874 complaints received by the DisCos from their customers (17 per cent less than Q4 2017), about 72,846, representing 67 per cent of the complaints were resolved.

Benin DisCo had the worst performance in customer complaints resolution, while other DisCos recorded at least 60 per cent success. Benin DisCo resolved only 26 per cent of the complaints it received, where Yola and Enugu DisCos reached a commendable record 99per cent resolution during the quarter in review.

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