The number of registered electricity consumers in the country has risen above 10 million by the first quarter of this year, a data released by the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has disclosed.
ANED is the umbrella body of 10 of the 11 power distribution companies or Discos in the country.
The data, however, showed that only 41 percent of this number is metered while the rest of consumers are on estimated billings.
“Only 41.1 percent of the customers are metered due to the historical deficit of metering at NESI. The National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) introduced in October 2020 aims to reduce the metering gap,” ANED said.
It is expected that the percentage of metered customers will increase with the full execution of the mass metering programme.
The NMMP is part of the Federal Government’s effort to bridge the country’s metering gap.
The programme is still at the first phase with 1,000,000 meters already booked for distribution to households across the country.
The data also showed that financial losses by electricity distribution companies rose by approximately 13 percent in the first quarter of the year.
The losses summed up to N97 billion, up from N86 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020. The losses reportedly resulted from energy theft, capping of estimated billing and other factors.
The ANED data showed that 23.24 percent (1,831 gigawatt-hours) of the 7,880 GWh received by the Discos during the period under review were lost to energy theft and others.
While losses rose, revenue collection also rose by 42.3 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period of 2020. The increase was as a result of a hike in electricity tariff, according to ANED.
The revenue collection increased to N181 billion in Q1 2021 from N127 billion in Q1 2020, it said.
The group said the Discos’ overall aggregate technical and commercial collection loss had continued to deteriorate as it rose to 50.3 per cent in March this year from 48.5 per cent at the end of last year. (SweetCrudeReports)