Despite Buhari's Mass Metering Initiative, estimated billing customers reached 6 million.

According to the most recent National Bureau of Statistics data, the number of electricity consumers who use the estimated billing system increased to six million in the third quarter of 2022 from 5.55 million in the second quarter of 2021.

According to the report, the estimated number of customers fell by 6.38 percent year on year in Q3 2022, from 6.32 million in Q3 2021.

The implication is that only 6.38 per cent of electricity customers could exit the heavily costed estimated billing regime despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, National Mass Meter Programme, initiated three years ago, targeted to meter 4 million customers.

Though Nigeria’s estimated population stood at over 200 million people, the report put total customer numbers growth in Q3 2022 at 10.94 million from 10.81 million in Q2 2022, showing a rise of 1.20 per cent.

Yearly, customer numbers in Q3 2022 declined by 1.19 per cent from Q3 2021 (11.07 million).

In addition, the total electricity customer number in Q4 2022 stood at 11.06 million from 10.94 million in Q3 2022, indicating an increase of 1.1 per cent.

On a year-on-year basis, customer numbers in Q4 2022 increased by 5.2 per cent from Q4 2021 (10.51 million).

The Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, had disclosed that it disbursed N47.8bn for about 865,956 meters across the country. However, the apex bank in July 2022 filed a suit to Federal High in Lokoja to freeze the accounts of 157 Meters Asset Providers companies over the diversion of funds meant for the procurement of meters.

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