In its determined move to deal with the palaver of “crazy billing” system, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has pledged to engage more meter access providers in the power sector to address the metering problem in the country.
Mr Oyebode Fadipe, Head Corporate of the commission, AEDC disclosed this recently while addressing journalists at a roundtable on power by the Civil Society Groups for Good Governance in Abuja.
Fadipe, who identified estimated billing known as “crazy billing’’ as the major challenge facing the power sector, however, assured that the problem would soon be a thing of the past.
According to him, it will be solved through engagement of more power sector players in the industry.
Hear him, “The principal cause or source of the crazy bill or outrageous billing is because a lot of customers have not been metered and that is the principal cause. Only very few are in the prepaid category.
“Those that have the post-paid meters are those who are complaining about crazy billings and overestimated billing,’’ he said.
Fadipe urged consumers on estimated billing with issues with their bills to go through the complaint process to get them addressed.
He said that the Meter Access Provider (MAP) currently in use and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) policy was essential in other to neutralise the metering platform.
Fadipe said that it was no longer the Distribution companies (DISCOS) that had the monopoly of the metering of customers.
“We have more players coming in and again the Discos have to be in agreement with the particular meter access provider.
“When a customer pays money over a time, the access provider recovers the money over that time.
“When the consumer comes to recharge and he or she is recharging about N10,000 value, the consumer is given less than 10 thousand naira recharge in order to recover part of the cos.”
He noted that the AEDC had invested about 10 billion in 2018 for the production of over 200,000 pieces of meters of different categories both single faced and multiple faced meters.
Fadipe also that AEDC had done over 99 per cent of the metering, adding that any issue regarding metering was by new residents who built their factories for power.
He said that the issue of criminalising estimated billing was still in process at the National Assemble, adding that the company was hopeful that the law would meet its purpose.
“We have to wait for the complete process and we hope that it would favour both the providers and consumers concerned.
Mr Sham Kolo, Deputy Director, Surveillance and Enforcement, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), said the outrageous billing was worrisome, especially as the mandate of CPC was to promote and protect the interest of consumers.
He said that the council was working closely with the Discos to make sure that consumers were not short changed in any way.
Contributing, Mr Dominic Ogakwu, Convener, Civil Society Groups for Good Governance,(CSGGG) said that there was need for accountability in the power sector.