Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

Discos traces lack of meters to forex constraints, no, they prefer estimation—customers

The blame game trailing scarcity of prepaid electricity meters across the country has deepened as scarcity of prepaid meters persists.

Whereas Discos have continued to use the prevailing forex scarcity to give excuses, millions of consumers still argue that Discos deliberately frustrate availability of meters to continue giving estimated bills.

Findings have shown that estimated billing system gives more revenue to Discos than prepaid meters and many users of prepaid meters have one or two ways to ‘cutting off’ the reading of meters while power is on use which is a ‘bad market’ for Discos.

Only recently, Nigeria’s largest electricity distribution company, Ikeja Electric, has said its customers are not getting prepaid meters at the moment as a result of importation, funding and exchange rate constraints.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer, IE, Mr. Anthony Youdeowei, explained that investors did not take into account the current high exchange rate when the privatisation of the power sector was concluded.

He said people who question why the electricity distribution companies in the country have not been patronising local meter manufacturers should understand that the firms import the meter components from abroad and also sell at international rates.

Youdeowei said, “None of the companies here has a ready supply. They only assemble units according to order and the components have to be ordered from abroad. It takes time to order and get them.

“Prepaid meter is not an easy thing to procure. Our projection at the start of the privatisation was made in good faith. But now, the estimated billing system will have to stay for a while. It will only go away when there are adequate meters.

“But it is our responsibility to make the estimated system as equitable as possible. We have metered the distribution transformers up to 90 per cent.