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NERC moves to address 57% meter deficit

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Prepaid meters

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says it has instituted measures to accelerate adequate metering of Nigerians.

The chairman, Prof. James Momoh, said that the move would help in bridging the existing gap of 5,046,906 against 8,840,801 customers, which represents 57 per cent deficit in metering across the country.

Momoh spoke during a town hall meeting at Ikeja, Lagos, organised by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, to facilitate dialogue and proffer solutions to difficult consumer issues in the sector.

“The commencement of the Meter Asset Providers (MAP) scheme, developed in line with MAP 2018, will go a long way to assuaging the long-pressing issue of metering. The distribution companies have also done extensive work on their customer enumeration to determine the actual metering gap, as well as perform adequate Know Your Customer (KYC) to reduce electricity theft and improve service delivery,” he said.

Represented by Deputy General Manager, Consumer Affairs, Shittu Shaibu, the chairman pointed out that the commission had established customer complaint forum offices in 25 states as mechanism to ensure speedy response to customers’ complaints.

He, however stressed: “The development of an effective electricity market that would provide safe, adequate, reliable and affordable electricity to Nigerians requires a lot of efforts, which entail commitment, competence, doggedness and focus.”

According to the director-general of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, though electricity value chain starts with generation to transmission, then distribution, the major problem consumers face is with the distribution.

His words: “They made the choice to be distributors. They must be accountable because they have the responsibility to deliver despite challenges.”

He urged them to desist from inflating estimated bills, which has become ‘crazy bills’ today.

“They must be fair to all communities. The Ministry of Power told us that it is not the customer’s duty to provide equipment, but why are we charged for transformers and polls? Management must put a stop to this exploitation and hold the operatives accountable,” he added.

Irukare implored consumers not to indulge in illegal connection, but should guard their communities to curb illegal connection.

“We must not be violent with the operatives of Ikeja Electric,” he advised.

Some of the consumers took turns to narrate their displeasure over the poor service or lack of service they receive, as well as the Ikeja Electric’s inability to replace bad transformers following months of complaints.

The town hall meeting for the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKDC) will hold today in Victoria Island.


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