The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on Tuesday agreed to work together in a new partnership arrangement that would see both agencies go after and prosecute electricity distribution companies (Discos) that usually extort from their customers funds to procure and repair electrical installations on their networks.
Both agencies in this regards signed in Abuja, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to activate the framework titled: ‘consumers’ redress legislation.’
They indicated their intention to closely work to get rid of instances of disregard for customers’ rights and abuse of service trust by the Discos.
According to the acting Director General of the NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah, the commission had already issued a non-tolerance notice to the Discos on wrongful estimates of consumers’ electricity consumptions, compelling customers to buy, install and repair such distribution equipment like transformers, poles and wires.
Akah also noted that instances of unsafe electrical connections and safety practices would be covered in the new memo on consumers’ redress legislation.
He added that NERC would equally monitor Discos meter roll-out plans with the CPC to ensure that willing consumers get value for electricity services they pay for.
“We intend to intensify enforcement of consumer protection regulations on metering, billing and the perennial complaints of estimated customers.
“There shall also be concerted efforts aimed at greatly reducing the incidence of estimated billing and eventually eliminating them completely. The commission has issued a non-tolerance statement on wrongful estimates, compelling customers to buy, install and repair transformers, and poles,” Akan noted.
He explained that the commission’s partnership with the CPC is aimed at promoting speedy redress of consumer related issues in the delivery of electricity services to them.
The Director General of CPC, Mrs. Atoki Dupe, in her comments, said the CPC hopes to leverage on the partnership to bring the Discos to appreciate the service delivery challenges of electricity consumers in their network.
She however noted that this would not be without considerations for their investments in delivering electricity to consumers.