Power Reforms: Senate Demands End To Estimated Billing
The Nigerian Senate has asked the managers of electricity to discard what it described as estimated billing in charging consumers, saying the method was not in the best interest of Nigeria and its people.
It requested that the electricity companies should instead provide pre-paid metres to meet up with modern day challenges in electricity sector.
This is in response to complaints by post-paid electricity consumers that they are billed arbitrarily by distribution companies.
During an oversight visit to some independent power station project sites in Kaduna on Saturday, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Philip Aduda, urged the companies to sustain the pace of work and ensure that the project would be completed soon.
The Managing Director of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Mohammed Idris, said the issues of estimated billing and monthly service charge should be decided on by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), saying that the distribution companies do not have the power to review the billing system.
He commended the committee for its contribution to the successes recorded so far, in the on-going privatisation of the power sector.
“The new investors for Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, North West Consortium, have paid 25 per cent of the approved bid price.
“There are 18 national integrated power projects in Kaduna State, with only seven of the projects fully completed while others are at various stages of completion,” he said.
The committee visited power station sites at Gonin Gora, Narayi, Airforce Base and also the 215 Kaduna Power Plant at Kundenda.
When completed, the power stations are expected to supply enough electricity to Kaduna metropolis and rural.
At some of the sites, the senators expressed satisfaction with the level of work executed by the contractors handling the projects, while they also asked the contractors handling the Ungwar Dosa and Mando sub station to hasten up and ensure that the projects are completed on time.
While at the 215 power plant being handled by Rockson Engineering Limited, the contractor told the committee that the project would be ready for commissioning by December 2014.
With the assurances by the contractors handling the various power projects in Kaduna State to complete the projects on time, the lawmakers expressed optimism that the contractors would live up to expectation and be able to deliver the projects according to the stipulated period in order to improve power supply in the state.