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Discos’ achieving revenue targets on estimated billing killing MAP scheme

Contrary to the mindset created by electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) that paucity of fund is derailing speed in the delivery of prepaid meters to Nigerian electricity consumers’ across the nation, an expert has disclosed that setting and achieving of revenue targets given to field workers by Discos are the major factors delaying Meter Asset Providers (MAP) regulation.

Dr Ken Okhiria, a Power Economist, in an interview on Monday, brushed aside, the claims of the Chairman, MEMCOL, Kola Balogun that the major challenge hindering meter manufacturers has been funding, adding that the Discos need to be recapitalised and adequately funded to deliver sufficient meters to consumers.

Balogun had identified lack of funding as hindering the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulation issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), but Okhiria argued that “If Discos discovered that customers’ use of prepaid meters will deepen their coffers, by now, every consumer must have been metered.”

“But the reverse is the case because only very few Nigerians can make case on their crazy bills while majority grumble and still pay which Discos enjoy the more.

“My studies on the activities of Discos have revealed to me that all of them prefer estimated billing because that gives them the fraudulent opportunity to charge consumers whether there are supplies or not, but under prepaid, if there is no supplies, there is nothing to collect.

“Like I have been telling Nigerians, the only way prepaid meters will be available to all is if the Federal Government detach itself from the power cabal who are feeding fat on majority of Nigerians who have no prepaid meters.

“Let me shock you with a finding. Go to any locality and check out this. You will notice that as more informed people disturb Discos to get their prepaid meters, the more their neighbours who are yet to get theirs get crazier bills on their estimated billing.

“Why is it so? It is because of the revenue target setting for the area which those on prepaid meters have reduced. Otherwise, in order to meet the set target which had been cut short by more people on prepaid, those on estimated billing will now be forced to pay higher so as to achieve the set revenue target for the locality. This is how bad it is now in Nigeria between Discos and their customers,” Dr Okhiria decried.

He blamed the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, for lacking the will to give Discos metering deadline for their customers, saying unless, Discos are forced, meter access crisis will be endless while customers continue to be short-changed.

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