The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says the failure of electricity distribution companies (Discos) to provide meters to consumers has continued to generate controversies in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) as an average of 713 complaints were received daily in the first quarters of 2018. According to NERC first quarter 2018 report released on Wednesday, metering and billing issues dominated customer complaints during the period with a total of 64,197 or 59 per cent out of the 108,871 complaints received by DisCos during the period accounting for issues based metering and estimated billings. Analysing the implications of the complaints data, the report said, “This implies that, on average, about 713 customers complained about metering and billing per day.” The report identified another serious issue of concern to customers during the period under review to be service interruption, as it accounted for 13 per cent or 13,659 of the total customer complaints. However, NERC noted that there was a reduction consumers’ complaint received during the period as the DisCos received a total of 108,871 complaints as against 131,669 complaints received in the last quarter of 2017. The report further stated that despite the reduction in the number of complaints received, the proportion of the number of complaints resolved by DisCos reduced to 67 per cent from the 77 per cent recorded in the last quarter of 2018. A breakdown of the figures shows that Benin DisCo had the highest number of complaints followed by Port Harcourt DisCo. On the other hand, Jos DisCo recorded the lowest number of complaints. Ibadan DisCo recorded the highest rate of complaints resolved, reflecting better performance in dealing with customer complaints compared to other distribution companies, NERC stated.
Meanwhile, statistics of electricity consumers metering status during the period as contained the NERC Q1, 2018 Report shows that out of the 8,135,730 registered consumers, only 3,434,003 which translates to 42 per cent have been metered. “Thus, 58 per cent of end-use customers are still on estimated billing,” the report stated. Comparing the performance with what obtained the preceding quarter, NERC noted that, “The number of registered customers increased by 2.37 per cent, while the percentage of metered customers declined by 3.9 per cent indicating greater increase in the registered customer population relative to meter roll-out.” NERC Described the DisCos refusal to increase meter supply to customers as contrary to performance agreement with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). “Notwithstanding the growth in the registered customer population, during the first quarter of 2018, the incremental meter deployment by DisCos is significantly lower than the targeted quarterly metering stated in the performance agreement with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE),” the report stated. The NERC report however noted that Port Harcourt and Benin DisCos, performed better than their peers as they have metered half of their registered customers during the period under review