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PHCN Estimated Billing Now Criminal Offence, As House Of Reps Passes Bill

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PHCN Estimated Billing Now Criminal Offence

Power Holding Company of Nigeria
PHCN are currently going round to take inventory of all existing Old Meters in view of the February 28th deadline, which insists that all DISCO’s Electricity Distribution Companies, should provide and install Electronic Prepaid Meter to all subscribers Free of charge before the said date or face severe sanctions.

Estimated billing ensures that electricity consumers are deliberately left unmetered so that, at monthly intervals, they can be slapped with outrageous bills that have no bearing whatsoever on the quality or quantity of electricity supplied or consumed. This state-sanctioned fraud has managed to survive over the years due, in the main, to weak regulation, as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has found it difficult to curb the excesses of the DisCos.

THE passage by the House of Representatives last week of a bill criminalising “Estimated Billing” is a landmark legislative intervention in the country’s troubled power sector. The envisaged law is expected to deliver longsuffering Nigerian electricity consumers from the tyranny of ruthless and dodgy power firms that are evidently only interested in profiteering without adding value to their services. With this groundbreaking development, all that is left to complete the process is for the document to be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence and, thereafter, to the President for assent.

Nigerians no doubt have suffered enough from being robbed by faceless corrupt officials via the inhuman Estimated Billing System where one pay for what he or she didnt use.

It is better to have the prepaid meter and not have light than to have light without prepaid meter.

The logic is simple, if you have the prepaid meter it means you will only pay for what you use.

No estimated bills, no cutting of light.

Many have wondered why firms that are notoriously inefficient should be so prolific in contriving dubious bills for consumers. Even when, for weeks or months, there is no electricity supply, it does not change the billing situation. A classic example is that of the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who told his colleagues how his house in Bauchi, which had no occupant, was receiving a monthly bill of N80,000. The practice of estimated billing is so controversial and deceitful that even when customers are disconnected, the bills keep running. If customers travel out of town, upon return, the bills, sometimes even higher, will be waiting.

PREPAID METER AS THE SOLUTION TO LIGHT

This is why the perspective of Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader of the House, who sponsored the bill, is so critical. He argued, “Any regulation that allows estimation of bills when the actual consumption can be ascertained is against natural justice and equity and should not stand.” It still remains to be seen if, with the new law, a set of firms that are used to getting away with all manner of sharp practices, will now start playing by the rules, if the law is not followed with strict enforcement.

With prepaid meter PHCN will sit up and begin to perform because they will know that if they don’t supply power they will not make free money.

They know this, that’s why they continue to sabotage the whole thing so that they will continue with the robbery which is the estimated billing system, over charging users and getting fat.

Like the telecoms companies, who have to supply network or else no money for them if people do not use up their airtime and data.

Nigerians must stop asking for power supply, that is not the solution but INSIST ON YOUR PREPAID METER IT IS YOUR RIGHT.

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