ABUJA, JUNE 19, 2017 – Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has promised Nigerians that the federal government will supply over three million prepaid meters.
Fashola said the contract for the supply of the meters had been awarded since 2003 but that they were not supplied.
“In 2003, the government awarded a contract for three million meters but they were not supplied.
“I inherited it, they were in court and I am trying to take it out of the court so that we can settle and start the supply”, he said.
According to him, metering houses in the country were facing some challenges because there was no accurate database of actual consumers in the country.
“There is a database of six million households; it is a faulty base because we have more than six million households in the country.
“There are four types of consumers – R1 (poorest consumer), R2, R3 and maximum demand consumers — and they are not on the same plan.
“DisCos need to go into these houses, do an audit to determine the type of meters to install.
“If you have a wrong meter, you will pay wrong price or bill. A meter is both a safety device and a measuring device; it can under read or over read or cause fire if not properly installed.
“But essentially, the DisCos must provide meters, it is only fair and let the consumer manage his consumption and billing system because he has a meter.”
Fashola, who described the problems of the power sector as man-made, said way of life and human behavioural problem were some of the issues.
Others, he said, were power wastage, building of houses in difficult terrain without approval, lack of conservation culture and energy theft.
“Some people will put on a 70 or 120-watt bulb as security light for 24 hours, including the daytime when they do not need it and it is because they have either stolen the energy or bypassed their meters.
“They are robbing DisCos of huge sums of money as they may not be able to pay back the energy they bought for distribution”, he added.