2023: Unmetered consumers increase as DisCos customers hit 11.27m in first quarter

The number of unmetered electricity consumers have increased to 11.27 million, even as electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs)’s customers hit a new level of 11.27 million in the first quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have said.

Between the end of the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, the bureau said, the number of consumers on estimated billing rose 0.4 per cent from 5.92 million to 5.93 million in 2023, while DISCOs customers rose 1.89 per cent from 11.06 million during the period in 2022 to 11.27 million in the corresponding period of 2023.

This is in spite of the improvement purportedly recorded by the power sector in the first quarter of 2023.

Market watchers said, until near full metering is achieved, the power sector stands little growth. According to Abiodun Koyejo, a customer, the officials are still enjoying illicit monies in form of bribes they collect from customers who do not want to disconnected.

The report however showed that the electricity sector in the country witnessed some positive developments in the first quarter of the year.

The report covers the energy billed, revenue generated, and customers by DISCOS for the period under review.

Compared to the first quarter of 2022, when the customer base was 10.63 million, the year-on-year increase was 5.99 per cent.

The report also revealed that the number of metered customers rose by 3.61 per cent from 5.13 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 5.31 million in the first quarter of 2023.

On a year-on-year basis, the revenue generated in the first quarter of 2023 was higher by 20.81 per cent than the N204.74 billion recorded in Q1 2022.

The report also indicated that the electricity supply increased to 5,852 (Gwh) in the dirst quarter of 2023 from 5,611 (Gwh) recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022, showing a growth of 4.29 per cent.

However, on a year-on-year basis, electricity supply declined by 1.74 per cent compared to 5,956 (Gwh) reported in Q1 2022.