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Metering, estimated billing, service interruption top customer complaints in Q1, says NERC

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In the first quarter of 2018, complaints by customers in the power sector were dominated by issues bordering on metering, estimated billing and service interruption, among others.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) revealed this in its 2018 Q1 Report.

The commission stated: “Metering and billing dominated the customer complaints, both accounting for 64,197 (that is 59 per cent) of the total complaints in the first quarter of 2018.”

To reduce customers’ complaints, NERC said it will continue to monitor and audit the complaint handling and resolution process by the electricity distribution companies (DisCos), adding that on a continuous basis, it (NERC) monitors the operation of its Forum Offices set up to adjudicate on consumers’ complaints that are not adequately resolved to the satisfaction of customers by the customer unit of the responsible DisCos.

In Q1 2018, DisCos received a total of 108,874 complaints (17 per cent less than Q4 2017 from their customers, and resolved a total of 72,846, representing 67 per cent of the complaints received. Benin DisCo had the worst performance in resolving customer complaints.

Whereas other DisCos resolved at least 60 per cent of the complaints received from their customers during the quarter, Benin DisCo resolved only 26 per cent of the complaints it received. Yola and Enugu reached a commendable record of 99 per cent resolution during the quarter under review.
The Commission said it had contacted the Benin DisCo to explain the reason for their poor customer care.

The Commission handled a total of four (new and existing) disputes between operators and customers within the first quarter of 2018. These include Grey fields vs. AEDC; Crown Estate, Lekki vs. EKEDC; VGC, Lekki vs. EKEDC; and Osun State Government, BEDC and IBEDC. Resolutions have been passed on some of the disputes while others are still on-going.

On litigation, during the first quarter of 2018, the Commission had one new case of litigation from Benin DisCo’s customers, for an alleged illegal disconnection and estimated billing of N2.5million by Benin Distribution Company. Furthermore, the Commission also continued with 14 other cases earlier reported in the previous quarters which were yet to be concluded.

During the period under review, the total revenue accrued to the Commission was N1.185billion comprising of N1.02billion from operational levy (that is market charges) and N166.86million from other sources (licensing).

The accrued revenue during the quarter under review was six per cent less than the revenue received in the preceding quarter.

On the other hand, the total expenditure of the Commission stood at N1.19billion as against N1.41billion in the last quarter of 2017. A comparison of revenue and expenditure of the Commission in the first quarter 2018 showed an improvement in its financial performance relative to the last quarter of 2017 as deficit reduced to N4.97million in Q1 2018.


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