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‘DisCos extort N2trn yearly from electricity consumers’

Some electricity consumers under the aegies of Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA) have alleged that the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) rake in over N2 trillion annually by giving customers unfair estimated bills.

A statement by the president of the APPA, Comrade Princewill Okorie, yesterday, said it was reacting to the recent disclosure of the DisCos that they were running at a loss since they took over in 2013.

The statement said: “It is suspected that electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) collect over N2 trillion annually from electricity consumers in communities under the 774 Local Government Councils through estimated billing.

“Still, they claim that tariff is inadequate without putting mechanism in place to transparently show evidence of revenues they generate,” APPA said.

They said with the estimated billing, consumers expect the DisCos to make public the number of metered consumers and declare the revenue they generate monthly and annually.

It said a survey in the South-East across 95 local government areas (LGAs) showed that the DisCos generate about N28bn annually from consumers via estimated billing.

“Each autonomous community in LGAs in Imo State for example, is given an estimated bill of N750,000 monthly and they  do not enjoy the electricity for up to 15 days in a month,” they said.

APPA supported the call of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, for improved power delivery especially on ending estimated billing.

It said: “If the current policy direction given to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is carried out expeditiously, Nigeria Electricity Consumers will be relieved of exploitative estimated billing by DisCos, jobs will be created through small power.”

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