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Reps move to criminalize electricity estimated billing system

Reps move to criminalize electricity estimated billing system

The House of Representatives has began the process of proscribing the issuance of estimated bills to consumers by electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

A bill seeking to amend the Electicity Power Reform Act by the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila and others succesfully scaked second reading on the floor on Tuesday.

If passed, every Nigerian electricity consumer must be provided with a prepaid meter, thereby would no longer have to pay for electricity not consumed.

The lawmakers also proposed to criminalize, non provision of prepaid meter after application and illegal disconnection of consumer’s light among others with a fine of N500, 000 or six month jail term.

Failure to carry out the provision of the proposed law was to carry a six month jail term or a fine of N1m or both.

This followed the second reading of a bill where Section 67 sub section 1 of the Principal Act among others was amended.

Gbajabiamila, while leading the debate on the general principles of the bill said feedback from across the country indicated deliberate extortion of consumers by the DisCos.

On the need to back the prohibition of estimated bills by law, Gbajabiamila said there is a difference between regulation and law.

“The Electricity Regulatory body can direct that all consumers be provided with prepaid meters immediately and by the stroke of a pen, can also direct that the prepaid meter no longer be provided for one reason or another.

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