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#PowerHour

July 2016-June 2021

Summary

This project seeks to improve the relationships between electricity distribution companies (DisCos), consumers, and other key stakeholders by building awareness, communication, and trust between them. SDN has already established a platform for interaction between Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), consumers, and stakeholders through interactive community town hall meetings and a ‘Power Hour’ radio programme. SDN is now building on the success of this work to broaden the geographical scope to consumers living in Edo, Delta, and Rivers States, and engaging with both BEDC and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED). As well as rolling out the Town Hall meetings between stakeholders and expanding on the Power Hour radio programme, SDN will be surveying consumers’ experience of meters and service quality to feed back to DisCos, and working with DiscCos to improve the transparency of their plans and reduce corruption.

Aims

To reduce corruption in the supply and consumption of electricity through promoting the comprehensive roll-out of metered billing.

Key activities

  • Raise consumer awareness via a programme of radio shows educating consumers, many of whom have no previous experience of centralised energy provision, or what estimated and metered billing is.
  • Raise electricity distribution companies’ awareness by surveying consumers on the progress of the roll out of meters, as a more accurate and fairer way to bill for energy consumption.
  • Build trust in consumers by forming community-based Advocacy Working Groups in Edo and Delta States to protect meters and other BEDC infrastructure from interference.
  • Build trust in electricity distribution companies by working with them to increase the transparency of their meter roll-out, reduce corruption, and improve service quality.
  • Improve communication by bringing consumers, electricity distribution companies, and other stakeholders together in town hall community meetings, broadcasting the ways consumers can contact their electricity distribution companies, and feed back to electricity distribution companies the results of SDN’s engagement with consumers.

Context

Despite the huge oil and gas resources and the revenues generated by this industry, Nigeria has some of the lowest per capita electricity consumption and generation figures globally. In 2017, total installed capacity of electricity infrastructure was thought to be around 6,803 megawatts (MW) – a significant shortage compared to the country’s forecasted longer term needs, expected to be 30,000 MW by 2020 (SERAP, 2017).

The Nigerian electricity sector has faced a number of challenges that make the provision of a stable and affordable power supply across the country difficult. These issues revolve around pricing of electricity consumption, non-payment of bills, indiscriminate billing systems, load mismanagement, theft, corruption, sabotage, and lack of pre-paid meters. As a result, there has been little progress towards a reliable, cost-effective, and customer-friendly power supply to households and businesses, especially in rural communities, across the country. Not only do these inadequacies negatively impact daily life, but also present a sustained hindrance to the growth of businesses, and subsequently, dampens Nigeria’s overall economic growth.


Project resources

Funders and Partners

Published: 11.12.2019