Stakeholders mull criminalisation of estimated billing

Stakeholders in the power sector are considering the idea of sponsoring an executive bill that will make estimated billing system a criminal offence in the country.
At the moment, aside from other lapses from the service providers in the sector, estimated billing is another major problem electricity consumers are contending with in the country.
Arising from the 28th monthly meeting of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing with Operators in the Power Sector on Monday in Kaduna, the stakeholders in the power sector said the move would guarantee investors and consumers confidence in the electricity sector.
The meeting was presided over by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting disclosed that plans are underway to operationalise the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation by leveraging on private sector experience to bridge the metering gap in the sector with N37 billion seed fund.
The meeting further reiterated the need for operators to be proactive in resolving issues that affect the quality of service during the rainy season in areas of repairs, maintenance and replacement of obsolete power infrastructure that will happen during adverse weather.
The emphasized the need for DisCos to regularly get weather information from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) to predict service disruption and frequently inform consumers on restoration plans and timelines.
It further expressed concern about reports of DisCos not connecting to completed Distribution Assets by NDPHC and REA on the grounds of difficulty in servicing the areas.
The meeting also resolved that DisCos should submit to NERC a list of the areas and communities within their franchise where they had difficulty in serving the customers and state to enable government review and develop policies that will ensure service to these areas.

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