BREAKING NEWS: Group raises concern over 40% hike in prices of prepaid metres

Prepaid metres

Group raises concern over 40% hike in prices of prepaid metres

An advocacy group, the Electricity Consumer Protection Forum, has raised concerns about the 40 per cent increase in the price of single-phase prepaid metres in .

The group, speaking through its national coordinator, Adeola Samuel-Ilori, expressed the concern in a statement on Friday in .

Mr Samuel-Ilori said the increase was on high side and demanded that the prepaid metre be made liberalised.

He urged the Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to consider the plight of electricity consumers in the country.

According to him, many electricity distribution companies () have been engaging in unfair and deceptive trade practices during the installation process of prepaid metres.

He noted that these practices had led to consumer exploitation and lack of transparency.

According to him, a single-phase increased prepaid metre to N81,975.16k from N58,661.69k, and a three-phase prepaid metre to N143,836.10k from N109,684.36k.

“This is on the high side for an average consumer that is affected by dwindling purchase power which is caused by the same reason adduced to get prepaid metres being increased by NERC,” Mr Samuel-Ilori said.

He, however, expressed dismay over the silence of NERC on the plight of customers and the way the Metre Asset Providers ( 2019) was carried out.

Mr Samuel-Ilori noted that the 2019 August was meant to allow consumers to pay and buy metres from approved MAP providers seamlessly, but was not so.

He added that despite the development, NERC had not addressed the situation, leaving customers frustrated and unsupported.

He said, “It is common knowledge that the MAP providers inter alia that customers will be surveyed, and payment made after survey establishes suitability and after payment, consumers are to be metre within ten days.

“This is not the and never has been and it is on record that many complaints have flooded the office, yet there has been no abatement to the to the extent the consumer paid and four months after they have not been metered.

“lt is not also a new thing that purchasing of metre and any other line materials should be the of the distribution company.

“But, the reverse has been the case while consumers are made to experience the principle of double jeopardy in that while tariff has been increased twice since the advent of MAP.

“No consumer has received refund on metre purchased as contained in the MAP schedule 2019 till date.”

He said the needed to retain the technical aspects of activation and coding to allow the provisions in the section of Electricity Act, 2023.

The consumer group said that, based on the provision of section 34 of the Electricity Act, asked NERC as a matter of responsibility to mandate DisCos to install metres to customers within 10 days.

Mr Samuel-Ilori called for stringent reprimand for failure, while consumers affected by the delay be compensated.

According to him, the group demands that the NERC activate the discos obligation to metre customers under their franchise area with time lag pursuant to section 114(2) of the Electricity Act, 2023.

Mr Samuel-Ilori, therefore, called on NERC to ensure that the new order to the discos should include refunding consumers who had purchased metres in the past.

He suggested that their names be publicised and prioritised so that consumers would know before they start purchasing at the new approved price.


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