The federal government has vowed to end the issue of estimated billing before the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2023.
Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR, gave the assurances on Friday when he paid the Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifenyi Ugwuanyi courtesy call in his office.
Agba who has been on a tour of facilities in the state said that the conflict between customers and distribution companies over the issue of estimated billing is of great concern to the government hence, the initiative to distribute six million free meters to Nigerians.
He said that “the constant disagreement between customers and distribution companies over estimated billing has become of great concern to government. This is why President Muhammadu Buhari has given us the mandate to distribute free six million meters by the first half of this year.
If we’re able to complete that by June, we’ll buy more meters and distribute for free to Nigerians. The programme is designed to continue till next year because our thinking is that by the end of this administration, if not all, three quarter of Nigerians should be metered”.
While discussing the Refuse-Derived-Fuel Electricity Gastification Plant developed by the University of Nigeria, NSUKA, (UNN), the Minister said that if government at all levels key into the technology, it has the potential of solving 70 percent of Nigeria electricity issues.
Also speaking, the Governor on his part, thanked the Minister for his interest in the state even as he appealed to the federal government to urgently come to the state’s aide in addressing its power challenges.
Ugwuanyi lamented that about 300 transformers connecting half of the state essentially the Enugu North are no longer working due to age, over load and other related issues.
He also revealed that in terms of bulk sharing, what the state was getting was inadequate and cannot serve their elecltricy needs hence, there was need for increase.
According to him, “We have serious electricity issues in Enugu State. Over 300 transformers that provides light for half of the population of the state are bad. We used to have a lot of industries in this state but many of them have left because of lack of electricity.
“We want to appeal to the federal government to complete the 3.2kv New Heaven power line. The President has been very supportive, there’s nothing I’ve taken to him that he has not addressed” .
Hammering on the issue of estimated billing, he said that “Some local governments in this state did not have light for up to 7 months because of estimated billing until I had to intervene. I was in the National Assembly for 12 years but I did not see nay law that supports estimated billing. When customers complain of the outrageous bills they get, the next thing they do is to cut them off thereby promoting crime because economic activities are halted when there’s no light.
We want to beg the Honourable Minister to give us light because Enugu is expandin, most of our people are returning home. We’re building industries massively, land has become even more expensive here than Abuja so, we need light “.