Nigeria probes poor electricity metre distribution

1 November 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has commenced investigating into the incidence of poor electricity metres distribution in the country since the 1990s.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Dr Sam Amadi, said the commission has set up a high-powered committee headed by human rights lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, to find out what was responsible for the trend.

The terms of reference of the committee covers the period from 1990s till date.

Amadi disclosed this at the opening session of the US-Nigeria partnership on Regulatory Capacity Assessment between NERC and the Michigan Public Service Commission in Abuja.

He said after decades of intervention by the Federal Government to have a reliable metering system for electricity in the country, only about 40 percent coverage has been achieved.

He said: “We expected that by now, we should have achieved 90 to 100 percent metering but I know that today some utilities like Eko and Ikeja distributions are doing better in terms of metering.

“There was a World Bank support in metering. I can’t tell you the exact extent but we know that before last three months, we were hovering between 40 percent and 50 percent of consumer meters.”

Amadi stated that lack of proper metering constitutes a stumbling block to the realization of a cost reflective tariff and by extension adequate power supply to consumers.

He stressed: “It is critical for both consumers to minimize consumption and for the distribution companies to have debt collection. If you have no metering, you can’t manage the industry.

“This is why we are setting up a high powered and credible committee to ask questions and report back to us so that we will control both the corruption in the metering process and inefficiency.”

About the Author