NERC TO ENSURE ALL CUSTOMERS ARE METERED – CHAIRMAN
THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says it will ensure that customers pay only for electricity consumed by providing meters for them. This assurance was given by the Chairman of the commission, Prof. James Momoh, at a news conference in Abuja recently. Momoh said that NERC would do everything within its power to ensure that distribution companies (DisCos) provide meters through the Meter Assets Programme (MAP) .
As a back for this plan, Professor Momoh disclosed that one of the regulations of the commission known as “Clapping’’ will put a maximum amount DisCos can charge customers. He continued: “For DisCos, it will be an advantage for them to provide meters as this is an attempt to make sure that the win-win customers are metered.
“We want DisCos to provide them with meters because the minimum we are going to allow them to charge is not going to be to their advantage in the long run,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the move is to address the severe revenue shortfall being recorded by DisCos arising mainly from the Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection losses of the Discos. It is also to address the public outcry on the overcharging of end users for electricity under the Estimated Billing System.
NERC issued the Meter Asset Provider Regulations in March 2018, pursuant to the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005. It is anticipated that the Regulations will, among other things: encourage the development of independent and competitive metering services and eliminate estimated billing practices by DisCos.
It is also expected to attract private sector investors to the provision of metering services, close the metering gap through an accelerated meter roll out, and enhance revenue assurance. (NAN)
**In a related development, the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) says it has commenced mass disconnection of defaulting customers in the four states it operates. The states are: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers States. The Manager, Corporate Communications of the company, John Onyi confirmed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Port Harcourt, recently. He said the exercise, Operation Storm, was initiated to sustain and avert imminent collapse of the company due to huge debt owed it by customers.
He declared: “The huge debt amounting to over N166.012 billion as at October 2019 is no longer tolerable, hence the need to recover it at all cost. The exercise in fairness will continue until every Kobo owed the company is recovered for energy used.” He therefore urged customers who see electricity as a social service, to change their perception and pay up for electricity used.
Mr. John Onyi continued: “To this end, we have created a help desk across PHED offices to resolve and reconcile any contentious bill. Customers with disputable bill are urged to avail themselves the opportunity by visiting any PHED office closest to them for on the spot bill reconciliation.”
The spokesman urged customers to pay their electricity bills to enable the company to continue improving on its service delivery to them. (NAN)