The number of customers under the 11 licensed Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria increased from 11.06 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 11.27 million in the first three months of 2023.
This is according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Nigeria Electricity Report for Q1 2023 which showed an increase of 1.89 per cent.
The report focuses on energy billed, revenue generated, and customers by Discos under the reviewed period.
The report said on a year-on-year basis, customer numbers in Q1 2023 increased by 5.99 per cent from 10.63 million reported in Q1 2022 to 11.27 million in Q1 2023.
It said in Q1 2023, the number of metered customers stood at 5.31 million from the 5.13 million recorded in Q4 2022, indicating a 3.61 per cent increase.
“On a year-on-year basis, this grew by 5.71 per cent from the figure reported in Q1 2022 at 4.79 million,” it added.
Similarly, the report said that estimated customers stood at 5.96 million in Q1 2023, this was higher by 0.40 per cent from the 5.93 million recorded in Q4 2022.
On a year-on-year basis, estimated customers increased by 1.99 per cent in Q1 2023 from 5.84 million recorded in Q1 2022.
The statistics office said revenue collected by the DISCOs in Q1 2023 was N247.33 billion compared to the N232.32 billion collected in Q4 2022.
The report said on a year-on-year basis, revenue generated rose by 20.81 per cent from N204.74 billion recorded in Q1 2022.
It said electricity supply increased to 5,852 (Gwh) in Q1 2023 from 5,611 (Gwh) recorded in Q4 2022.
However, the report said on a year-on-year basis, electricity supply declined by 1.74 per cent compared to 5,956 (Gwh) reported in Q1 2022.
In a related development, Nigerians are set to pay more for electricity tariffs, with a proposed increase of over 40 per cent in the coming days. This is as the President Bola Tinubu administration may eventually end all forms of energy subsidy in the country.
The country has a monthly subsidy of about N50 billion in the electricity sector owing to revenue shortfall, and the tariff hike is due from July 1.
Many Nigerians, still reeling from the hike in the cost of petrol, will either pay more for light or reduce their dependency on it.