Power Distribution Companies Overbilled 7.1 Million Customers in Nine Months- FG

The Federal Government has revealed a troubling trend in Nigeria’s power sector, indicating that power distribution companies (Discos) overbilled approximately 7.1 million unmetered electricity consumers between January and September 2023.

This revelation comes from an analysis of the latest monthly figures of overbilled customers.

According to reports, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), a federal agency, issued various Regulatory Interventions for Non-Compliance with the Order on Capping of Estimated Billing to Unmetered Customers to the 11 Discos. These interventions uncovered that the Discos amassed over N105 billion through overbilling during the specified period.

A breakdown of the figures reveals alarming statistics. Yola Disco overbilled around 42,902 customers, amounting to N541.9 million. Similarly, Abuja Disco overbilled a staggering 1,823,218 customers, raking in N17.9 billion. Enugu Disco overbilled over a million customers to the tune of N11.9 billion, and other Discos followed suit with substantial sums.

In response to this, NERC announced significant measures to address the issue. One such measure involves deducting a substantial sum from the annual allowed revenues of the Discos during the next tariff review. This move aims to deter future non-compliance with energy caps and safeguard unmetered customers from arbitrary billing.

Consumers across Nigeria have long complained about excessive estimated bills from Discos. In the third quarter of 2023 alone, NERC received over 333,947 complaints, with metering, billing, and service interruptions being the most frequent issues reported.

Despite challenges, NERC remains committed to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. Consumers hope that these measures will lead to improved practices and fair treatment in the power sector.

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