- We Need N53bn to Meter Customer
Electricity distribution companies in the country on Wednesday said they needed a minimum of N53bn to be able to meter the 2.9 million unmetered consumers nationwide.
They also faulted the recently approved N701bn intervention fund by the Federal Government for the sector, stressing that the amount was too little and the idea behind it was partial as it favoured electricity generation companies.
The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of National Electricity Distributors, an umbrella body for the Discos, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, told journalists in Abuja that the power firms would require several billions of naira to meter customers who had yet to be metered.
“On metering, we have 2.9 million customers who have yet to be metered, according to the figure given by NERC. And if you look at the amount of money required to do that, even at the minimum of N53,000 per meter, although a meter is more than that now due to the issue of forex; we need billions of naira to take care of that. And this will not be less than N53bn,” he said.
The Discos commended the Federal Government for supporting the upstream arm of the sector with the N701bn intervention fund, but stated that the gesture was partial.
“That intervention is too little and too partial for you cannot take care of the upstream, while neglecting the downstream. But we commend them for it; it is a good start. However, without a holistic resolution and details of how the intervention will work, we will not make progress,” Oduntan said.
When asked what the government should do to address the complaints of the power firms in general so as to enable them deliver on their mandates, Oduntan replied, “There is a need to deal with the revenue shortfall, which is over N1tn. If we don’t do anything about the shortfall, we can’t go anywhere.