DisCos Metered 39% of Customers in 10 Years – Report


The huge metering gap remains a major challenge in the power sector, as data shows that the electricity distribution firms have achieved just a 39 per cent metering rate since the privatisation of the sector in 2013.

Federal Government privatised the distribution and generation arms of the power sector in 2013 but kept the transmission arm to itself.

However, almost 10 years after privatisation, the 11 DisCos have been able to meter only 4,898,721 (approximately 39 per cent) of the 12,643,630 registered customers, according to statistics obtained from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The PUNCH recalls that the power sector was privatized with six power generation plants and 11 electricity distribution companies handed over to the private sector.

While the number of DisCos remains unchanged at 11, more generation firms have been licensed increasing GenCos to 29.

The newly released report by the NERC for the second quarter of 2022 revealed that of the 12,643,630 registered energy customers as of June 2022, only 4,898,721 (39 per cent) have been metered.

A total of 167,956 meters were installed in 2022/Q2 compared to the 85,510 meters installed in 2022/Q1.

By comparison, the net metering rate increased from 38 per cent metering in March to 39 per cent in June 2022.

The meter installations increased compared to 2022/Q1 despite the winding down of the National Mass Metering Programme Phase 2 as a result of the uptake of the Metering Assets Providers metering Scheme by most Discos.

The NERC stated that it continued to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure a month-on-month increment in metering rate while instituting safeguards against overbilling of unmetered customers by setting maximum limits to the amount of energy that may be billed to an unmetered customer every month.

The number of meter installations through the Federal Government’s NMMP phase 0 was 158,889 in 2021/Q1, 308,016 in 2021/Q2, 279,917 in 2021/Q3, 70,676 in 2021/Q4, 20,016 in 2022/Q1 and 34,390 in 2022/Q2.

President of Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, Kunle Olubiyo, recently called on FG to reverse the privatisation of the power sector, describing it as a failure.

According to Olubiyo, the way out of the incessant power supply hiccups was for the government to source money and pay back the investors.

“It is either the Federal Government does a mid-term review of the privatisation process or total reversal of the privatisation. We did not get it right and you cannot build something on anything.

Olubiyo said the money the government had spent on post-privatisation in a supposedly private sector-driven industry was more than what the government was giving to the defunct National Electric Power Authority and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

In December, FG said it was getting a $500 million World Bank loan to overhaul the country’s power sector.

So far, the FG through the Central Bank of Nigeria has disbursed the sum of N14.35bn to DisCos for metering.

Two years ago, the government gave Yola Disco a N5bn loan for the procurement of 85,000 meters. As of 2020, the DisCos had got N1.8tn funding from the FG, but the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, the umbrella body of the 11 DisCos, argued that the utility firms only accessed N58bn.

The power firms have consistently blamed low performances on aggregate technical, commercial and collection losses.

The NERC put DisCos ATC&C loss for Q2 2022 at 45 per cent, comprising technical and commercial loss (22 per cent) and collection loss (29 per cent).

NERC said All DisCos did not meet their allowed ATC&C loss targets as specified in the Multi-Year Tariff Order, which means that the DisCos did not meet their loss reduction targets, and were, therefore, unable to earn the revenue requirement upon which their approved tariffs for the period were set.


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