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Business News of Thursday, 9 June 2022

Source: www.punchng.com

Metered customers rise to 4.7million, registration stalls at 10million

An illustrative image of prepaid meters An illustrative image of prepaid meters

Electricity distribution companies’ customer registration exercise has been stagnant at 10 million for the past two years, findings by PUNCH correspondent showed.

Further findings also show that about 47 percent of registered power users (4.7 million) have been metered.

Statistics sourced from the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors indicated that the 10 million registered customers and 47 percent of metered power users were recorded as of the fourth quarter of 2021.

“At the end of 2021, over 10 million customers are registered, with approximately 47 percent metered”, the association said in its latest Commercial KPIs for ANED’s members Q4/2021 report.

A study of the metering progression on the ANED report showed that as of 2018, 42 percent of customers were metered.

In 2019, the percentage of customers metered dropped to 40 percent in 2019. The association did not explain why the number of metered customers dropped.

Metered customers remained at 40 percent in 2020, increasing to 47 percent at the end of 2021.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2019 stated that as of the fourth quarter of 2019, inadequate metering was a serious challenge in the industry, with only 3,918,322 (37.77 per cent) of the total customer population of 10,374,597 were metered.

Although the number of metered customers increased to 47 per cent with the help of the Federal Government’s National Mass Metering Programme, the number of registered customers remained stagnant at 10 million as seen in NERC’s report of 2019, and ANED’s 2021 report.

Both NERC and ANED did not disclose why the Discos customers’ registration process remained at 10 million despite over N2tn investments in the sector.

However, the spokesperson for Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, Godwin Idemudia, disagreed with both NERC and ANED (an umbrella body for the Discos) over the registered customers’ statistics.

According to him, the Discos’ customer base was increasing because more people were building new houses and setting up businesses.

He said, “Our customer population is increasing. Is it in terms of metering or customer base? I sincerely do not agree with that statistic at all.

“Based on the economy, people are building houses and Nigerians are opening up businesses. With that in mind, there is a need to have power connected to such investments. Are we now insinuating that Nigeria has been stagnant for years? It sounds unrealistic as far as I am concerned.

“I am not condemning the source of your information, but I believe we need to look deep into such claims. I do not believe EKEDC specifically provided any data to show we have been stagnant over the years.”

When asked to provide statistics to prove the increasing customer registration base of EKEDC, he replied, “Will provide statistics as requested. Thanks. He, however, did not get back with the data as of press time.