Retreat Participants Urge DISCOs To Prevent Meter Bypassing

Participants at the top management retreat of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing have called on Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to put maintenance and monitoring process in place to prevent meter bypassing.

The participants made the call on Sunday in a communiqué issued at the end of a three-day Top Management Retreat of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Kano.

The communiqué was read by Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing and the theme of the retreat was “Planning for Teamwork Delivery”.

It said meter bypassing and metering gap which had created mistrust between customers and DISCOs were major challenges to financial viability of power sector in Nigeria

The communiqué said the metering gap had denied customers the right to pay for only what was consumed resulting to hike in estimated billing.

It expressed dismay that only three million of an estimated 10 million customers had been metered in the country.

According to the communiqué, Nigeria’s power generation has increased, but the capacity of the distribution system has not increased at the same pace.

It said the expansion of distribution of power was constrained by losses in the system, adding that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had issued the Meter Asset Providers regulation.

The communiqué said the regulation would enable investors provide meters to close the metering gap over the next three years.

According to the communiqué, under the regulation, interested providers are to get No Objection from NERC before entering into agreements with customers and DISCOs to provide meters and recover investment from the tariff.

The communiqués said the retreat also had discussions in power of great communication, demonstration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid tips and use of fire extinguishers in homes and offices.

It said participants were urged to make deliberate efforts to take care of themselves, their immediate environments, acquire additional knowledge, increase passion for their work and disseminate positive information about the ministry’s activities.