House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has said Nigeria is the only country where electricity consumers are made to pay for the service through estimated billing.

He described the situation as shameful.

The Speaker said the estimated billing being used by electricity distribution companies (DisCos) was the biggest fraud in the history of the country.

Gbajabiamila bared his mind yesterday when he led the debate during the sitting of the Committee of the Whole on a bill to amend the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005 to prohibit and criminalise estimated billing by electricity distribution companies and provide for compulsory installation of pre-paid meters to all power consumers in the country.

The bill, the Speaker said, was first introduced during the Eighth Assembly, which passed it unanimously, but was not signed into law.

He stressed that the wilful estimation of bill by DisCos to their consumers should not be condoned.

Gbajabiamila said the estimated billing system was not supported by any scientific or arithmetic calculation but whimsically done by the DisCos to suit their own purpose at the expense of Nigerians.

The Speaker said many Nigerians constantly complain about the DisCos allocating figures to them in the name of estimated billings, adding that this action affects all categories of Nigerians, irrespective of status or social standing.

He said: “When they (DisCos) undertake to embark on the exercise, you agreed to provide meters. But today, the story is different and Nigerians are suffering from the inefficiency of these distribution companies.”

Gbajabiamila urged the House to support the bill and ensure its expeditious passage.

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