The issue of estimated billing has been a thorn in the flesh of electricity consumers in Nigeria.

Millions of naira are expended every year in payment for electricity not consumed.

And it appears all attempts to have prepaid metres installed has yielded little results.

But now, the federal government thinks it can do it via a fiat.

On Monday, the government ordered the electricity regulator, Nigerian Electricity Regularly Commission, NERC to enforce the contract mandating power distribution companies, Discos to provide meters to customers and eliminate estimated electricity bills.

It said the directive became vital following the number of complaints coming from power consumers on the absence of meters.

This is coming as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, tackled the Chairman of NERC, Prof James Momoh, on the number of Meter Asset Providers, MAPs who had been licensed by the commission.

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Fashola quoted various sections of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 at a press conference in Abuja, as he tried to explain why it was high time that the government acts and puts an end to the excesses of the power distributors.

“Government must act and will do so. The Discos bought these power assets with their eyes opened, and they must compete to deliver or exit.

“It is not my intention, or that of the government, to take over the business of the Discos. On the contrary, it is the government’s desire to see the Discos thrive in a competitive environment.

“In the period when they are not yet ready, willing, or able, life must go on and we must find solutions and substitutes as we have seen in other sectors.”

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