7.4M Consumers Lack Electricity Meter Despite 5% Installation Rise

7.4M Consumers Lack Electricity Meter Despite 5% Installation Rise

In the Nigerian Electricity Market, about 7.4 million electricity consumers are without meters, with a five per cent rise in the rate of meter installations to 179,792 in the first quarter of 2024, in contrast to 171,107 installed over the similar period last year, data from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) reveals.

As per the latest data from NERC, there are 13.37 million registered electricity consumers by the end of March 2024, but only 5.989 million have meters, representing 44.78 percent.

The breakdown of meter installations in the first three months of this year revealed that 56,994 meters were installed in March, 79,837 in February, and 42,961 in January.

The Commission's data indicated that Ikeja Electric, Abuja DisCo, and Eko DisCo are the top three companies in metering rates, with Ikeja Electric leading at 73%, followed by Abuja DisCo at 61% and Eko DisCo at 59%.

According to the Minister of Power, a significant meter gap was identified as a major issue in the industry that the Federal Government was committed to closing, and the use of the estimated billing system by the DisCos was deemed unfair to customers in the industry.

He explained that President Bola Tinubu has recently approved the use of N12 billion to meter army formations across the country as part of efforts to solve the metering problem.

Late last year, the Federal Government took concrete steps to bridge the metering gap by opening bids from 47 companies for the supply of 1.25 million electricity smart meters funded by World Bank’s $155 million loan.

The government's National Mass Metering Programme, which began in 2021 with the distribution of one million meters in "phase -0," included this move. However, the phase-1 of the project failed to kick-off as the N200 billion funds expected from the Central Bank of Nigeria failed to materialise.

With this action, the World Bank stepped in with a $500 million loan for phase-2, allocating $345 million directly to electricity distribution companies, DisCos, to finance the expansion of distribution networks throughout the country.

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