Since the introduction of the Prepaid meters in the larger kosofe, Lagos-Nigerian majority of the residents welcome the develoments while few others kick against it.Those who supported the pay as you use device over postpaid meters said its prevented PHCN technician from removing their power cable and no more disconnection from the poles by the over zealous phcn staffs without notification, stopped extortion and crazy bill.
While mostly the business owners and few other residents closely observed out of ignorants and fear of the unknown preferred estimated post paid meters. They claims that the units of energy of Prepaid meters are often speedily exhausted like the normal recharge cards in the early year 2000’s before the entrance and introduction of per seconds by GloNigeria. Consequently, Some rejected the pay as you use meters, some collected, mounted but never connected it.
Knowing the important of having a prepaid meter and its unavailability from the Ikeja electricity distribution company / subcontractors handling the installations. Many resident’s in kosofe paid to buy it despite its free but was defrauded by the alleged ikedc phcn agent’s whom had since dialogued with legs while IKEDC look the other way as gathered.( Read Anthony Village: PHCN prepaid meters subcontractors defraud residents of Millions of naira )
Before the advent of the device, a shop owner who produce footwear’s told kosofepost that on the post paid meter he pays between #4000 to #5000 monthly. However, now he shares a prepaid meter with another shop owner, he pays 1500 monthly compared to for the former shared crazy bills.
Prominent personality was interviewed from Agboyi ketu, ikosi Isheri lcdas and Kosofe Local government to know their views on the prepaid meters and post paid meters(crazy bill meters) preference.
The majority of the residents shared the same views and Leading the educative and informative respondents was;
The crownprince Aremo Oba Faronbi Abeeb Alashe. The Oba elect for Oke Alo, Gbagada, Anthony, Mende , Maryland etc
I’ve tried both the prepaid and post paid electricity meter billing system in Nigeria and I have to say they both have their advantages and disadvantages and it would mostly depend on what a subscriber wants to use the service for.
A prepaid meter is an electricity meter which only provides the subscriber with power after payment has been made and this can be in the form of a meter token or credit purchased prior to use.
A post paid meter is one that immediately provides electric power to the user once it has been installed and allows the user to only make pay for his power bills after he has used the service and this is normally on a monthly or periodic basis but it’s always after use.
1. Post paid meters are credit friendly:
The prepaid meter would need to be credited with funds of the subscriber before he/she will have access to electricity. A post paid meter on the other hand allows the subscriber to start using electricity from day one even without paying for it so it’s a bit more credit friendly.
2. Prepaid meters are budget friendly:
A Prepaid meter system has some advantages and this includes allowing the subscriber to only pay for what he can afford in advance and so it’s a bit more budget friendly. A post paid meter on the other hand doesn’t control what the subscriber uses and in a way is less budget friendly since he could use more than he budgeted or can afford for that month. A post paid meter would be at a good advantage if only a flat fee is paid per month and not varying or increasing rates. In Nigeria, the disadvantage is that the fees are mostly varying or incremental and this has made a lot of people want to dump the post paid billing system. It would have been better if a flat fee was paid. So, it’s very hard to budget what one’s post paid bills would be if you are in a country like Nigeria.
3. Prepaid meters encourages less power consumption:
Another benefit of prepaid meter billing system is that it encourages savings on electricity consumption unlike the post paid billing. One can choose not to use electricity for the month and in this way minimize his bills. The only bills he may have to pay may just be the service or maintenance bills which are at a flat monthly fee. A post paid billing meter system on the other hand doesn’t encourage savings on electricity consumption since there is always a monthly fee to be paid for electricity supply. In Nigeria, the Power company no longer reads the meters but rather makes use of estimated billing system that ensures that people pay a flat fee every month and this has been increasing over the years. Some residents in Lagos, Nigeria have complained of the increasing electricity bills some of which are as high as N25,000(about $150) per month and with those kind of bills, there would be no incentive to encourage the subscriber to save electricity use.
4. Prepaid meter users have more Privacy:
Prepaid meter users tend to have more privacy than Post paid meter users this is because for the former, there would be no need for the Power company officials to visit your home or office just to record the last meter reading before issuing a bill for the month.
5. No embarrassing manual disconnections for Prepaid meter users: With the Prepaid meter billing system, Landlords and tenants no longer have to worry that their power will be cut of manually by the Power company’s task force when post paid bills are past due since they can be paid in advance under the Prepaid billing system.
6. Prepaid meters help in reducing in Bribery: The prepaid billing system also have helped reduce the incidence of bribery among Electricity consumers and the Power company task force. At times, subscribers who have not paid bills tend to bribe the Power company staff for free electricity and this doesn’t help.
At times, subscribers who have not paid bills tend to bribe the Power company staff for free electricity and this doesn’t help the power company generate the income due to it.
7. Justice and fairness for both parties:
Since people no longer have to pay a flat rate on electricity service and due to the fact that the electricity company needs to collect its revenue as at when due, the Prepaid billing system helps both parties to achieve this as it allows the subscribers to only pay for what they use and for the Power supplier to get paid for the service it actually rendered. In Nigeria, under the old post paid billing system, people were made to pay for electricity on a monthly basis whether power was supplied or not and that amounted to injustice. The prepaid billing system allows people to buy the electricity they can afford in advance and use it according to how they want as well as have control over it by simply switching off the lights and electronics.
8. Post paid meters mostly come with Fixed bills and help small businesses
Another advantage which Post paid meter billing has over prepaid meters is that unlike the latter which bills users on a variable rate, the former does not always charge users based on usage. At times, Power officials don’t check meter readings and so might use an estimated billing system which normally involves issuing a flat monthly charge for all users on the platform. This is ideal for small businesses and factories who just want to pay a flat rate irrespective of their production or business activities which normally require a lot of power. If those businesses were using a prepaid meter and their activities increase, it would also lead to an increase in electricity bills but a post paid meter billing that uses a flat estimated monthly charge would be more beneficial to them.
In Summary, however, I’m of the opinion that the Prepaid meter billing system is much better than the prepaid billing system and should be continued, HRM-AA-FARO ”
The Publisher, Managing Editor at #BlackboxNigeria
“Prepaid metering is the ideal instrument because it gives consumers the leverage to determine how much to pay for power consumed even though we have not gotten to that stage where we can determine when to consume the power since its availablity is still at the whims and caprices of the distribution companies, it is a development consumers should cherish. With prepared meter, I don’t have to pay for the light I did not consume. – Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni”
The Director of Ripples Packaging Co. Ltd
“Prepaid meter is far better than these crazy billings witnessed around Alapere here in Lagos.”
“When a flat is charged about 10k monthly without using AC or any high voltage consuming appliances.
I have personally written severally to them and never gotten any positive change ever since, Seun Abisoye“