Five years after the government sold Nigeria’s power companies to private investors, Nigerians are still paying for electricity that they didn’t consume because of lack of prepaid meters.

They now must pay crazy bills for electricity supply that they get occasionally.

Now, the government through the industry’s regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC is considering putting limits on estimated billing.

The NERC noted that the issue of estimated billing continues to constitute a major source of complaint by customers of all the electricity distribution companies.

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It said this has led to calls by the Nigerian parliament and other consumer groups for the commission to find a more equitable way of ensuring that customers were billed fairly.

In the ‘Consultation Paper on the Capping of Estimated Billing’ released on Friday, the regulator described the Methodology for Estimated Billing introduced in 2012 as “a complete failure.”

The commission had established the regulation on estimated billing methodology “to provide for the standardisation of the method used by Discos to estimate a customer’s power usage and bills accruing thereby in instances where the Disco is unable to read the customer’s bill within a billing period.”

NERC, in its report for the first quarter of this year, said out of the 8,135,730 registered electricity customers, only 3,434,003 (about 42%) had been metered as of the end of March 2018.

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