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‘Lack of enforcement may cripple capping of estimated billing’

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Tension as EEDC plans 50% tariff hike
Stakeholders yesterday said that the new order by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) capping estimated billing of electricity consumers might fail due to poor implementation.

NERC had on Monday released an order repealing existing methodology of estimated billing in attempt to enforce metering of electricity consumers across the country.

While some stakeholders lauded the move, the industry players were, however, cynical if the plan would be successful, saying that the document lacks proper enforcement plan.

National President of Association of Public Policy Analysts (APPA), Princewill Okorie, said NERC had historically failed to properly implement policies, especially aspect that directly affects consumers.

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According to him, releasing an order without proper plan for enforcement, education and public enlightenment, especially at the grassroots, may not achieve projected objectives.

Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr. Joy Ogaji, also raised concern over the implementation plan, stating that most consumers are not aware of their rights.

Ogaji said the current order had no monitoring template to ensure DisCos’ adherence to the plan, adding: “Who will enforce it.”

While the development may empower consumers, she said the change could only come if consumers know and understand how to enforce their rights.

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However, Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), University of Ibadan, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju, said move was a good development, saying: “It will force distribution companies to accelerate the process of providing meters to consumers. The distribution companies have used the umbrella of estimated bills to take advantage of consumers.

Meanwhile, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) yesterday said it would not bend to the clamour by electricity consumers in the South-East zone not to increase its proposed tariff by 50 per cent.

Addressing consumers in a meeting in Awka, Anambra State capital, themed: “Stakeholder Consultations on the Extraordinary Review of the Multi Year Tariff Order,”

Deputy Managing Director of EEDC, Paul Okeke, who stated this while addressing consumers at a meeting in Awka, Anambra State, said dearth of funds was hampering the ability of the distribution company to render quality services.

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