Electricity consumers decry estimated billings, non-metering by DISCOs
Consumers in Edo State have urged the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and other DISCOs in the country to provide prepaid meters and end estimated billings.
The electricity consumers who decried non-metering and estimated billings as exploitative said the disaffection between them and the DISCOs is largely due to issues of non provision of prepaid meters.
They spoke in Benin City, during a town hall meeting organised by Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN) with support from MacArthur Foundation, with theme,” Electricity Metering Gap in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects.”
Assistant Programme Manager of SDN, Olumide Oyebamiji, described the differences among the electricity consumers, stakeholders and the DISCOs as unhealthy.
Oyebamiji said the disaffection of electricity consumers with the DISCOs in the country is borne out of the inability of the companies to adequately supply prepaid meters to consumers for effective metering.
He added that the various electricity distribution companies in the country have admitted that many issues such as energy theft and vandalism were setbacks to the power sector.
Oyebamiji explained that until the DISCOs fully commenced the supply of meters to every consumer, a lasting solution is not in sight. “The DISCOs have said the issue of corruption, vandalism and energy theft are part of the problems they are faced with. But the major solution is to get every consumer a meter. Then we can work out the issue of vandalism and energy theft.” Oyebamiji added.
Other stakeholders who lamented the inadequate supply of electricity meters as well as indiscriminate billing included, Head of Legal Services, Consumers Protection Councils (CPC), Tam Tamunokonbia, who disclosed that non-metering was responsible for over 60 percent of complaints to CPC.