A bill seeking to amend the Electric Power Reform Act, prohibit and criminalise estimated billing of consumers passed the third reading at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The Majority Leader, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, sponsored the bill in protest against the ‘crazy bills’ being issued by electricity Distribution Companies to their subscribers.
The committee report on the bill, following a public hearing held on it on June 5, 2018, was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
The Deputy Speaker, Mr Yusuf Lasun, who presided over the session, put the report to a voice vote and it was approved overwhelmingly.
The House would transmit the bill to the Senate for concurrence. If the upper chamber passes the bill, it would be transmitted to the President for assent.
Gbajabiamila had at the public hearing stated that there was nowhere in the world where electricity customers were billed arbitrarily as it obtains in Nigeria.
The lawmaker had further stated estimated billing could only be used in situations where the meter of the consumers could not be accessed by the service provider. He said DISCOs had however deemed estimated billing to be normal.
“Any regulation that allows estimation of bills when the actual consumption can be ascertained is against natural justice and equity and should not stand,” Gbajabiamila had said.
The Majority Leader had also said the bill, when passed into law, would put an end to estimated billing and would become a win-win situation for both the consumers and the companies.
“The bill will ensure that prepaid meters are installed in all houses, so long as the customers apply for the meters,” he had said.