With a promise from government to provide adequate power supply to the populace, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has advised the Power Distribution Companies (DisCos) to put an end to the estimated billing system, saying, “it is subjective and prone to abuse”.
The Minister, who said this on Tuesday in Kaduna, advised the electricity distribution companies to access the Federal Government N37 billion fund under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) to achieve an end to the estimated billing.
Fashola, who was in Kaduna for the 28th Edition of the Monthly Power Sector Operators meeting, hosted by the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) in Kaduna said that, the Executive arm of Government had responded by taking advantage of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulations to deploy a fund of N37bn towards supplying meters through the private sector.
According to him, “Let me be clear that every DISCO is affected and, every DISCO needs to respond by providing meters quickly and seeking to end estimated billing, which is subjective, discretionary, and prone to abuse.
“I urge all DISCOs who have not taken benefit of this opportunity to quickly do so, or, make their own funding arrangements to contract their own meter providers to supply and install meters.
“On the Legislative side of Government, there is a clear intention to intervene by Legislation.”
Fashola disclosed that the Executive and Legislative response shows that Government is committed to addressing the issue of meters.
He added that meter supply has become the big issue of the moment that the consumers want the stakeholders to resolve.
“As a government, we hear them loudly and clearly and as service providers, we hope that you can hear them too.”
He stated that if power supply continues to increase in Generation, Transmission and Distribution, the demand for meters will increase because more power supply and consumption will likely result in increased bills.
“Estimated billings in this circumstance will become a major cause of distrust and conflict between consumers and DisCos and meters are the easiest way to build the bridge of trust.”
Fashola advised the Operators, GenCos, Transmission Companies and DisCos, who are the points of public interface, on the need to pay more attention to service delivery, repairs and maintenance of equipment.
“My focus in this meeting will not be different. We are beginning a different weather season that will see more rainfall, thunderstorms, lightening and windstorms. All of these will affect regular supply one way or another”.
“Trees will fall and disrupt lines; poles and lines may be damaged and service will be disrupted. In all these situations, we must prepare our staff to anticipate, plan, and respond and most importantly, we must inform the public about the problems and what we are doing to restore service whenever there are disruptions”, he counselled.
“As a consumer myself, nothing gives me more comfort than when my service provider shares information about service disruptions. It tells me quickly that at least, somebody knows that there is a problem, and gives me hope that something is being done about it”, Fashola said.
Fashola also commissioned three power substations with 60MVA Transformer that added to the Zaria 132 KV substation to increase the transformer capacity from 140 MVA to 200 MVA.
The Minister also inaugurated the Power House 132/33KV Transmission Sub-station in Kakuri, Kaduna city, where the 2 X 60 MVA Transformers that had been upgraded from 190 MVA to 240 MVA. He, as well, commissioned the 150MVA, 330/132KV transformer at the Mando Station.
He revealed that upgrade projects were going on in more than 280 injection stations and sub-stations as being carried by the TCN and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) across the country, which are all efforts at making sure that Nigerians enjoy adequate power supply.