Reps pass bill to criminalise estimated billing

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that seeks to prohibit and criminalize the imposition of estimated billing by the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs).

Reps pass bill to criminalise estimated billing


The lawmakers stressed the need for the DISCOs to provide compulsorily install prepaid meters to all power consumers across the country.

In his explanation, Hon Gbajabiamila, who sponsored the bill, stated that estimated billing is a practice that is unlawful and highly fraudulent.

He added that the excuse of the unavailability of electricity meters causing the estimated billing practice should be unacceptable to a people-sensitive House.

He said Nigeria is the only country where electricity consumers are made to pay for the service through estimated billing. He described the situation as shameful.

The Speaker said the estimated billing being used by electricity distribution companies (DisCos) was the biggest fraud in the history of the country.

When the proposed law is assented to by the President, it will become criminal for service providers to issue estimated bills, issuance of which would attract either a one-year jail term or a fine of N1m or both.

The proposed law would also compel a distribution company to provide prepaid meter to an applicant within 30 days while barring the DISCOs from disconnecting the consumer after the 30-day period within which meter should be installed.

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  1. FREELY SUPPLY AND FREELY INSTALL PREPAID METERS.

    UNTIL YOU DO THAT YOU ARE NOT READY TO PROVIDE ACCEPTABLE AND QUALITY SERVICES.

    WHY MUST A POWER CONSUMER PAY FOR A METER?

    -IS THE METER EDIBLE?

    -IS IT AN ASSET THAT WILL EVENTUALLY PUT MONEY INTO THEIR POCKETS?

    -CURRENTLY, CERTAIN GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS IN NIGERIA HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED WITH THE METER WHILE OTHERS HAVE NOT.SO WHY MUST THESE OTHER CONSUMER PAY FOR THEIR METERS.

    -THE METER MUST BE FREE FOR ALL.OTHERWISE ALL SHOULD PAY FOR THEIR METERS.THE
    METERS YOU SHOULD KNOW HELPS YOU TO MAKE MORE MONEY AND NOT LESS.YOU GUYS ARE
    NOT THINKING RIGHT.

    – YOUR PERSONNEL LIKE BRIBES AND DRIVING INTO NEIGHBOURHOODS WITH LADDERS FOR
    DISCONNECTING NON -COMPLIANT CONSUMERS.FOR HOW LONG WILL YOU CONTINUE TO DO THAT.DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND SYSTEMIC.WE ARE IN THE 21ST CENTURY.NOT CAVE TIMES.

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