A bill to criminalize the use of ‘estimated billing’ in the calculation of electricity consumed and to be paid for by consumers by Nigeria’s electricity distribution companies has passed first reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill which was sponsored by the House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, contains sections criminalizing the arbitrary estimation of energy consumed by consumers who have not been supplied pre-paid meters by the electricity distribution companies.
In a press statement, Gbajabiamila’s media aide, Olanrewaju Smart, quoted the lawmaker as saying the bill was necessitated by complaints from constituents across the country who felt regulations by the executive had failed to arrest the highhandedness of electricity distribution companies.
Furthermore, Gbajabiamila, who represents Surulere I. Federal Constituency, said the legislation would resolve the unfavorable technical manipulation of the reading pattern of existing pre-paid meters, which have led to incommensurate calculation of purchased electricity credit.
The bill recommends six months imprisonment for any official of an electricity distribution company found guilty of illegally disconnecting a customer or failing to provide a pre-paid meter for a client after 30 days of application.
Gbajabiamila guaranteed that the legislators would push the bill until it is signed into law.