Some electricity consumers have appealed to National Assembly to enact a law compelling electricity distribution companies (Discos) to install pre-paid meters for all customers to save consumers from estimated billing.
They made the appeal in separate interviews with newsmen on Friday at a forum on arbitrary estimated billing organized by Association of Electricity Consumers Right in Lagos.
Mr Akin Badmus, Coordinator of the Association, urged the lawmakers to promulgate a law that would ban Discos from billing consumers on estimation.
Badmus said that issues around estimated billing and non-availability of prepaid meters needed to be addressed to enable Nigerians enjoy the benefits of privatisation.
According to him, most electricity consumers are struggling with the twin problems of estimated billing and poor services, four years after privatization.
Badmus prayed the 8th Assembly to enact a bill that would criminalize estimated billings to electricity consumers and order Discos to install meters in every household.
“Most Discos have refused to install meters that would determine the level of consumption of electricity consumers – a device that measure the amount of energy used by a resident and business owners,” he said.
Another consumer, Mrs Felicia Dorothy, a resident of Ogba Housing Estate, urged the lawmakers to consider a review of the privatisation exercise so as to address concerns raised by consumers.
Dorothy also appealed to the National Assembly to proscribe estimated billing used by Discos to shortchange consumers.
“The National Assembly should consider a bill seeking to amend the Power Sector Reform Act.
“Every electricity consumer must be provided with a pre-paid meter, thus ending the regime of paying for power not consumed,’’ she said.
Alhaji Sunmola Ojurongbe, Chairman, Ojokoro Housing Estate, said many artisans were being ripped off through over-billing and estimated billing.
“It is unbearable for a welder to pay as much as N15, 000 when you hardly get uninterrupted supply each day.
“I believe if functional pre-paid meters are installed, you only pay for what you use,’’ Ojurongbe said.
Data obtained from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) show that over three million or 45 per cent out of the 7.47 million consumers nationwide have prepaid meters.