Prepaid Meters: Electricity staff union slams DisCos, says estimates bills unjust

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The Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) has lent its voice to the calls on electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) in the country to provide consumers prepaid meters.


The association described as unjust estimated billing system currently in vogue as a result of non-provision of prepaid meters by DISCOs.


The association’s President, Mr Chris Okonkwo, told newsmen in Lagos on Thursday that metering of all houses of consumers would reduce their sufferings.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee had on Wednesday announced that it was set to probe excessive electricity charges by Discos, accusing them and the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) of conniving to extort and shortchange Nigerians.


The committee, chaired by Rep. Israel Ajibola Famurewa (APC, Osun), noted that both NERC and the discos had “failed totally in ensuring that Nigerians get value for money spent on electricity consumption.”


Essentially, the committee is seeking to curb the exorbitant electricity charges being levied on consumers by discos.


Okonkwo, who condemned estimated bills being churned out by DISCOs, said: “The system is impoverishing the people as the N18,000 national minimum wage has not been increased while some workers are also being owed salaries for many months.”


He noted that the DISCOs had not kept faith with the privatisation deal they signed with the Federal Government to provide prepaid meters for consumers.


“DISCOs resorted to estimated billing of consumers because they sacked their workers and do not have enough manpower to recover their debts.


“The DISCOs have complained that they have about N1.1 billion to collect from consumers for energy already supplied,” Okonkwo said.


The electricity workers’ boss, however, faulted the sale and unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), saying “ there were some lapses in it.”


PHCN was unbundled by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. (NAN)

Biola Lawal

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