Nigeria: Electricity Meter Prices Surge Amid Forex Crisis and Inflation: An Investigative Report

Nigeria: Electricity Meter Prices Surge Amid Forex Crisis and Inflation: An Investigative Report

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

According to recent investigations, Nigeria’s foreign exchange and inflation rates have significantly impacted the prices of prepaid meters, leading to an 80% surge in costs. As of February 2024, a single-phase meter now costs N147,610.43, up from N81,975 in the same period in 2023. Similarly, the price of a double-phase meter has risen by 80% to N259,002.43 from N143,836.10 in the corresponding period last year.

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has issued a notice of disconnection to the Presidential Villa and various government ministries, departments, and agencies due to their outstanding debt of N47 billion. The Chief of Defence Staff’s office has the highest debt of N12,001,481,606, followed by the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory with N7,573,120,732.

Unfortunately, manufacturers and suppliers have been unable to replenish depleted stocks due to the forex crisis and inflation. This has led to delays in providing meters to customers who have already paid, contributing to the growing number of people subjected to estimated billing.

To address the situation, the federal government has decided to liberalize the metering market, allowing market forces to determine meter prices. This move is aimed at ensuring the production, supply, and installation of commercial stocks for consumers.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is currently working on the modalities of this liberalization, which involves removing price controls while maintaining regulatory guidelines to protect consumer interests and ensure fair competition. The goal is to foster a competitive meter market that attracts private sector investments, stimulates innovation, and creates job opportunities.

The transition to a liberalized metering services market is seen as a strategic policy initiative that provides a sustainable pathway for Nigeria’s Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to serve customers efficiently while achieving financial viability. The move aims to eliminate estimated billing, enhance collections, and reduce Aggregate Technical, Commercial, and Collection (ATC&C) losses swiftly.

In conclusion, the transition to a liberalized metering services market is expected to provide transparent and fair billing practices, promote efficiency and innovation, and support economic growth and job creation. The move is seen as a step towards enhancing customer satisfaction and overall sector performance and reliability.

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