Sanction awaits any electricity Distribution Company (DisCos) selling prepaid meters to Nigerians, the Federal Government warned on Wednesday.
It said representatives of the companies would not be spared if caught demanding payment from customers to be metered, asking customers to defend their right of getting the meters free of charge.
The Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Mr Ahmed Zakari, gave the warning at a stakeholders’ engagement on electricity tariff, organised by the FGN/NLC-TUC Ad-hoc Committee.
Zakari said: “We have made it clear through the regulator’s direct order as well as the intervention from the Ministry of Power that these meters are to be provided to Nigerians at no cost.
“Even for meters that will be paid for through the Meter Assets Provider (MAP), there is a directive from the regulator to the Distribution Companies (DisCos) that they need to find a way to reimburse citizens over time.
“If we find any disco or its representatives selling these meters or exploiting Nigerians to be able to get them, we will sanction such disco.”
According to him, the presidential directive is that meters should be made available to Nigeria free of charge and that they must be produced locally in order to create jobs and revive our industry.
“Though it is our belief that everyone will be obliged to do the right thing, we will still be vigilant and monitor developments,” Zakari said.
Minister of State for Power Festus Keyamo said the committee has been working to achieve an equilibrium figure that would reflect the true price and value for the service of the electricity consumed.
“We are not working from answer to question but from question to answer. To ask if there will be an increase or a decrease is premature. What we are doing is a honest and open fact- finding. We want to question the rationale for the service reflective tariff,” Keyamo said.
According to Keyamo, the aim is to ensure that consumers are not strangulated by unnecessary exploitative tendencies of the DisCos and that the DisCos too are kept afloat so that they can employ more workers and deliver quality service to Nigerians.
The minister said: “We are not saying service delivery will automatically mean price increase. We are only saying there should be an acceptable equilibrium figure that everybody will be happy about.”
Culled: The Nation.