FG seizes back DISCO contract, to roll out 3m prepaid meters

More than three million pre-payment meters are to be rolled out under the Federal Government’s intervention programme, power minister Babatunde Fashola said Sunday.
It comes after Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) have been deemed incapable of providing meters for homes across the country since 2003 when they were awarded the contract.
“I inherited it, they were in court and I am trying to take it out of the court so that we can settle and start the supply,’’ said Fashola.
“There is a database of six million households; it is a faulty base because we have more than six million households in the country.
“There are four types of consumers – R1 (poorest consumer), R2, R3 and maximum demand consumers — and they are not on the same plan.
“DISCOs need to go into these houses, do an audit to determine the type of meters to install.
“If you have a wrong meter, you will pay wrong price or bill. A meter is both a safety device and a measuring device; it can under read or over read or cause fire if not properly installed.
“But essentially, the DISCOs must provide meters, it is only fair and let the consumer manage his consumption and billing system because he has a meter.’’
NAN reports that electricity consumers pay N25,000 (official), N35, 000 (fast-track) for a single phase meter, while the three-phase models go for N50,000 and above.
Consumers have complained of down payment for several months or a year for the meters without being supplied by DISCOs which has exposed consumers to the user-unfriendly estimated billing system or “crazy’’ bills.
In Ghana, prepayment metering was introduced in 1994 and the importation of the meters cost Ghana Government 99.2 million dollars in 2015.