The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has said that that only about 45 per cent out of the total 7,476,856 registered customers had been metered by the 11 DisCos in the country as at the end of June 2018. According to NERC, of the total 7,973,867, registered active electricity customers, only 3,547,129 have been metered. It said 55.5 per cent of end-use customers were still on estimated billing methodology. It said in comparison to the preceding quarter, the number of registered customers increased by 9.32 per cent, while the metered customers increased by 3.3 per cent .
NERC said the increase in registered customer population was as a result of the ongoing customer enumeration exercise by DisCos. It said “It is evident that only four DisCos, namely Abuja, Benin, Eko and Port-Harcourt have metered not less than 50 per cent of their registered customers as at the end of the second quarter of 2018.’’ The commission said the exercise had helped DisCos to properly register individuals who have previously consumed electricity through illegal connection to the networks. It, however, said in spite of growth in the number of metered customer total meters deployed by DisCos during the quarter was significantly lower than the expected quarterly metering deployment under the performance agreement.
NERC in its 2018 second quarter report published on its website said “Whereas the performance agreement with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) envisaged deployments of 1,640,411 per annum, that is quarterly average of 410,103, only 113,126 meters were installed by DisCos during the period under review.’’ It listed the metering status of electricity customers by DisCos in the quarter to include: Kano 20 per cent, Yola 21 per cent, Kaduna 28 per cent, Jos 35 per cent. Enugu 35 per cent. Others are, Ibadan 43 per cent, Ikeja 49 per cent, Eko 50 per cent, Abuja 54 per cent, Benin 64 per cent, and Port-Harcourt 68 per cent respectively.
On customers complaints, NERC said DisCos nationwide received a total of 153,227 complaints as against 108,871 complaints received in the first quarter of 2018. It said the proportion of the number of complaints resolved by DisCos reduced to 61.2 per cent from the 66.9 per cent recorded in the first quarter “Benin DisCo had the highest number of complaints followed by Ikeja DisCo, on the other hand, Yola DisCo recorded the lowest number of complaints. “Yola, Kano, Jos and Abuja DisCos, recorded a higher rate of over 90 per cent of complaints resolved, reflecting better performance in dealing with customer complaints compared to other distribution companies.’’
The Commission said the customer complaints centred on service interruption, poor voltage, load shedding, metering, estimated billing, disconnection, delayed connection, among others. “Majority of the DisCos received huge number of complaints on each of the afore-mentioned key issues.’’ NERC however said Jos and Kano DisCos received just one complaint each on load shedding, while Jos and Yola DisCos had one complaint each on delayed connection. It said metering and billing still dominate the customer complaints, resulting in 68 per cent of the total complaints received during the period under review. “This implies that on average, about 1,152 customers complained about metering and billing per day. Another issue of serious concern is service interruption, accounting for 14 per cent of the total customer complaints received.’’
It said at the end of the quarter under review, the commission had established 25 forum offices across the country for effective adjudication of customer complaints. On market remittance, NERC said the liquidity challenge in the Nigerian electricity supply industry continued to manifest during the period under review. This it said was evidenced in the DisCos’ level of remittances of electricity invoice for energy received to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) and the Market Operato (MO). “During the second quarter of 2018, the DisCos were issued a total invoice of N161.4billion for energy received from NBET and for the administrative services by MO. But only a sum of N53.7 billion of the invoice was settled, creating a total deficit of N107.7 billion.’’ It said a comparative analysis of market performance by DisCos in the second quarter of 2018 indicated an overall settlement rate of only 30 per cent of the market invoice. According to NERC, none of the DisCos exceeded a threshold settlement of 50 per cent of its market invoices in the quarter . It said Jos DisCo recorded the worst remittance performance of 10 per cent, adding that the commission was presently reviewing the viability of the DisCO as a going concern.