The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on Friday said that the Federal Government would begin the prosecution of energy thieves soon.
He said that this would begin when the Ministry concludes its ongoing audit to tackle issue of metering.
Fashola made this known at an Interactive Session with members of 21 Civil Society Organisations and the media on Friday in Lagos.
Some of the civil society groups included Centre for Democracy and Social Economic Rights, Alliance for Good Governance, Grassroot Democratic Initiative and Centre for Social Economic and Human Rights.
He said that some influential people in the country were not paying for power, adding that plans were on to prosecute them and drag them into the energy payment net.
Fashola, however, said that government would fix the problems facing the power sector before applying sanction on energy thieves.
Fashola explained that the Ministry in dealing with problems of the privatisation of the power sector had sought the help of the World Bank whose Private Sector arm does not lend money to government.
The arms lends and provides guarantee to private companies only.
He said that the Distribution Companies and Generation Companies proposal did not fit into the World Bank project because they were home grown solutions to problem of power.
He said that the role of private sector in the power project was to help government carry out its functions better to boost the economy.
The Minister said that NERC was currently working on mini grids, deregulation of eligible customers and were waiting for the regulation of metering.
“Everybody assumes that Discos would supply meters, Discos do not have the capital to do so and their work is not really meter supply, their work is power supply.
“They need the meter just to measure and to bill us.
“So the regulation that are coming now would open metering to private sector people who would either come and serve as private meter service providers or meter franchise holders,” he said.
He added that when the privatisation of the sector was earlier done there were only about 6.5 million houses on the data base which showed that some people consumed electricity without payment.