Following the N95.8 billion owed by customers, there are indications that all electricity distribution companies (DisCos) may embark on mass disconnection of customers to enable them to pay up their debt with GenCos.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in Nigeria averaged a collection efficiency of 67.36 per cent in Q1 2022.
The Commission further disclosed that revenue earned during the period was N199.90 billion out of N295.69 billion billed to customers.
NERC, in its first quarter 2022 report, released this during the weekend.
The report declared DisCos had commercial losses of 47.88 per cent comprising aggregate technical and commercial losses (23.44 per cent) and collection losses (30.66 per cent).
In a swift response to recovering its debt from customers, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) spokesperson, Mrs Busolami Tunwase, said they have been appealing to customers to pay their bills.
“We are also educating them on the need to pay their Bills for us to serve them better and also remain in business.
“As you know, Electricity is no longer a social Service; we must pay market operators to remain operational.
“We are, however, intensifying efforts with a more consolidated approach, and we believe this will be impactful,” she said.
Also reacting to the development, an energy expert, Mr Eleojo Joseph, said the Federal Government needs to revisit power sector privatisation to address challenges.
“The cat and mouse game between the DisCos and the consumer is a war that the end is not in sight. The DisCos, to most consumers, are playing games with them because there is no electricity supply. Yet, the DisCos want to be paid by blackmailing them into disconnecting them whenever there is Electricity.
“In most cases, the consumers are not metered, and with arbitrary amounts given in the name of estimated billings, this is always the source of the rifts.
“On paper, the N95.9bn is the amount of Electricity supplied to the DisCos, and in most cases, the consumers did not consume the Electricity due to one hitch or the order. I have discussed this overbilling issue, and the manager said they are under pressure to meet their target. Meet their target when there is no supply?
“On the whole, the Government needs to revisit and review the privatisation of the power sector. Actual electricity companies like Eskom and the like with the technical know-how and financial muscles should be allowed to come on board and do the needful to this critical sector.
“We are toying with the lives of our people as the economy and businesses will continue to bear the brunt,” he stated.
NERC urged DisCos to improve the use of technologies to upscale billing efficacies.
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