Nigeria’s Electric Power Sector has witnessed several manipulative stages of privatisation in the last two decades. This has culminated into unsavoury and unsatisfactory power generation, transmission and distribution by different bodies set up to ensure efficient service delivery to the citizenry. However, the story still remains thesame particularly at the tail end of the Electric Power Value Chain which is Distribution.
Most Nigerians whine and wallow in total black-out especially in major cities despite being slammed with unrealistic bogus estimated billing at end of every month by the Electricity Distribution Companies. This is despite inefficient power distribution which amounts to absolute ripoff on the part of the consumers.
In finding lasting solution to this recurrent over billing by these power distribution companies Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, has sponsored a bill that will end this shady activities within the sector.
Read the Content of the Bill below:
A BILL FOR AN ACT TO AMEND THE ELECTRIC POWER SECTOR REFORMS ACT TO PROHIBIT AND CRIMINALISE ESTIMATED BILLING BY ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES AND PROVIDE FOR COMPULSORY INSTALLATION OF PRE-PAID METERS TO ALL POWER CONSUMERS IN NIGERIA AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS
April 18, 2018
SPONSORED BY HON. FEMI GBAJABIAMILA.
ENACTED BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AS FOLLOWS:
The Electric Power Sector Reform Act (herein referred to as “The Principal Act”) is hereby amended as set out hereunder.
Section 35 (2) of the Principal Act is amended by inserting immediately after the word “term” the phrase “except reappointed under sub section 4 of this section”.
Section 67 sub section 1 of the Principal Act is amended by deleting the entire paragraph (b) and replacing same with a new paragraph (b) as follows:
“the installations, maintenance and checking of pre-paid meters, tariff methodology and proscription of estimated billings”.
The Principal Act is amended by creating new sections 68 to 72 as follows:
68 -(1) Estimated billing methodology is hereby prohibited in Nigeria.
– (2) Every electricity consumer in Nigeria shall apply to the Electricity Distribution Company carrying out business within his jurisdiction for a pre-paid meter and such consumer shall pay the regulated fee for pre-paid meter to be installed in his premises and the Electricity Distribution Company shall within 30 days of receiving the application and payment install the pre-paid meter applied for in the premises of the consumer.
-(3) Customers who elect to buy their pre-paid meters through Credit Advancement Metering Implementation must state it in their applications and such customers must be metered within 30 days of the receipt of their applications.
-(4) All electricity charges or billings to the premises of every consumer shall be based strictly on pre-paid metering and no consumer shall be made to pay any bill without a pre-paid meter first being installed at the premises of the consumer.
-(5) If a Customer is not metered within 30 days after application has been duly made, the relevant electricity distribution company is prohibited from refusing to connect the customer or disconnect the customer in the event that the customer has been connected or estimate his bills
S. 69. Upon connection, the Electricity Distribution Company serving the Consumer must inform the customer in writing on the nature of the meter installed, tariff methodology and all other services available to the customer.
70. In giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission as the Regulatory body must ensure that all licensed Distribution Companies comply with the provisions of this Act.
71. All cases of illegal disconnection, refusal of the relevant Distribution Company to connect a customer after application, un-metering within 30 (thirty) days of a customer applying for a pre-paid meter and estimated billing shall attract both civil and criminal liability.
and any officer found guilty shall be liable to a fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) or imprisonment for a term of 6 months or to both such fine and imprisonment as the Court may deem fit.
Section 94 sub section (2)of the Principal Act is amended by creating a new sub-section (4) as follows:
“any person who performs any act or does anything or refuses, fails and/or neglected to carry out his lawful duties with intention to contravene or frustrate the Implementation of sections 68 and71 of this Act is said to have committed an offence; and upon conviction shall be liable to 6 (six) months imprisonment or a fine of N1, 000,000, (One Million Naira) or to both such fine and imprisonment without prejudice to the right of the Commission to cancel or suspend any license under this Act”.
This Bill may be cited as the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018
Source : http://www.gbaja.com/electric-power-sector-reform-act-amendment-bill-2018-a-bill-for-an-act-to-amend-the-electric-power-sector-reforms-act-to-prohibit-and-criminalise-estimated-billing-by-electric-distribution-companies/