The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, on Monday restated the Federal Government’s commitment to end estimated billing system in the nation’s power sector.
The minister said this at a meeting with the management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) as part of his working tour on power facilities in Nigeria.
Adelabu said that the purpose of the meeting was to seek more collaboration with relevant stakeholders to see how power sector could be moved forward.
According to him, it also aims at addressing complaints from electricity consumers.
“IBEDC remains largest in terms of coverage among the distribution companies which brings a lot of responsibilities and consumers’ expectations on the company.’’
The minister said that the metering gap remained wide in Nigeria, noting that about 50 per cent of the customers within the coverage area were yet to be metered.
“Citizens are tired of estimated billing because estimated billing always lead to cheating between consumers, staffs and company.
“Before the end of this year, we are looking at the possibility of ending estimated billing because we want transparency and objectivity in our billing system,’’ he said.
He added that President Bola Tinubu has just established a presidential metering initiative to harmonise all metering acquisition in the country.
“We have up to eight million meters gap in Nigeria and what the initiative seeks to achieve is to close this gap with three to five years.
“This means that an average of two millions meters is required on yearly basis and achieving the target is compulsory for citizens to enjoy stable power supply,’’ minister said.
According to him, the situation whereby communities will contribute money to acquire transformers, cables and other electrical equipment must stop.
The minister said that Nigerians should expect electricity tariff review in a way that would not add to the burden of the citizens, adding that adequate sensitisation and public enlightenment must be carried out before such review.
He said that the review would be progressive with minimal of no impact on low income earners and people in area with short supply duration.
“Another condition is that we must improve electricity supply so as to encourage people to pay before we can talk about tariff adjustments.
“We must also ensure that the tariff review is better when compared with alternative energy sources, “he said.
Also speaking also, the Managing Director, IBEDC, Kingsley Achife, who said the present electricity tariff is not cost reflective, said that the situation needs prompt attention to improve quality of service to the people.
Achife said that IBEDC had open a transformer repair workshop in Ibadan to ensure that transformers were being repaired and restore back to operations within short period of time.
He said that the company would soon take delivery of 300 transformers to increase its service capabilities in its area of coverage.
He urged the ministry to harnessing huge investment opportunities along Ibadan-Lagos expressway axis due to presence of many organisations along the axis.
“Travelling along Ibadan to Lagos, the whole area is filled with investments opportunities. Unfortunately, we are not able to serve that place for several reasons, including wires, infrastructures, and other required assets,” he said.