Reps revisit bill to criminalise estimated billing

The House of Representatives has revisited the bill seeking to criminalise estimated billing of electricity consumers by Distribution Companies.

When the proposed law is passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President, it will become criminal for service providers to issue estimated billing, also known as ‘crazy bill.’

Its issuance would attract either a one-year jail term or a fine of N1m or both.

The proposed law would also compel a Distribution Company to provide pre-paid meter to an applicant within 30 days.

It would also bar the DISCOs from disconnecting the consumer after the 30-day period within which meters should be installed.

The Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill 2018, which the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, then as Majority Leader, presented in the 8th National Assembly, was re-presented in July 2019.

Our correspondent obtained a copy of the proposed legislation on Thursday.

The bill is entitled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Electric Power Sector Reforms Act to Prohibit and Criminalise Estimated Billing by Electric Distribution Companies and Provide for Compulsory Installation of Pre-Paid Meters to All Power Consumers in Nigeria and Other Related Matters.’

The bill had reached the committee stage and a public hearing conducted on it before the last National Assembly wound down in May, 2019.

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