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House of Reps Passes Bill Criminalising Estimated Electricity Bills

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The House of Representatives has passed a Bill prohibiting and criminalising the use of estimated electricity Bills in all instances except where a consumer’s meter cannot be accessed by the service provider. Titled the “Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the proposed legislation seeks to address the concerns of many electricity consumers in Nigeria who believe that they are often overcharged under the estimated billing system.

Under the Bill, Electricity Distribution Companies must install pre-paid meters on the premises of a consumer within 30 days of receiving his/her application and payment or face penalties. Electricity distribution companies who fail to provide pre-paid meters within the stipulated time frame are prevented from refusing a consumer access to power supply, disconnecting him/her (where connection has already been granted) or reverting to the estimation of bills. The National
Electricity Regulatory Commission is given powers in clause 70 to ensure that licensed Distribution Companies comply with the Bill’s provisions.

The House leadership had promised that the Bill would be sent to the Senate for concurrence at its passage on Tuesday 22nd January, 2019.Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, (APC:Lagos), the Bill’s sponsor has also urged for its passage.