A statement released by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has instructed that electricity consumers that were not provided with prepaid meters by the March 1 should not yield to the estimated billing methodology.
The commission also ordered the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) not to disconnect any such customer that refuses to pay the bills, instructing consumers to report to the commission if such happens.
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As noted by NERC via its website over the weekend, in line with its mandate of protecting the rights of customers, NERC had in June 2016 after consultation with the operators, directed DISCOs to conclude metering of all customers before November 30, 2016.
According to the commission, the sanction was a sequel to the expiration of the initial directives by NERC and the moratorium period given to DISCOs to meter consumers.
Below is the precept issued by NERC
“A directive was issued to distribution companies by the Commission in June 2016 for all MD customers to be metered by 30 November 2016.
“The Commission received appeals on compliance deadline from distribution companies prior to the expiration of the 30 November 2016 deadline. The deadline was extended to 1 March 2017 after consideration of appeals received from distribution companies.
“Upon due consideration of facts above and the expiration of the compliance deadline granted to distribution companies on the metering of MD customers; the Commission hereby directs as follows;
- Any MD customer that was not metered by 1 March 2017 shall not pay any electricity bill presented by a distribution company on the basis of estimated billing methodology and these customers are advised to report this to the Commission.
- No distribution company shall disconnect any MD customer that was not metered by 1 March 2017 on the basis of the customer’s refusal to pay a bill issued after the compliance deadline on the basis of estimated billing methodology.
- Any MD customer that was not metered by 1 March 2017 should notify the Commission directly on:
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission
Plot 1099 First Avenue
Off Shehu Shagari Way
Central Business District, Abuja
234 9 462 1424
234 9 462 1414
This would definitely be a welcome development for Nigerians who for years felt the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) – initially known as Nigeria Electric Power Authority (NEPA), has unjustly ripped them of their had earn money with overrated electricity bills.
In some random interview conducted by BuzzNigeria at head offices of Distribution Companies in Enugu, some disgruntled costumers have expressed their frustrations over the overrated monthly bills they receive from the power companies.
According to one of them simply identified as Emmanuel, sometimes he is charged as high as N15,000 per month for his 2 bedrooms and sitting room apartment.
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Emmanuel lamented that his Landlord has already applied for prepaid meters for up to a year now without any action from DISCOs.
The most annoying part, he said, is that electricity is never constant in his neighbourhood, just as is the same all over the country.
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC is an independent regulatory body with authority for the regulation of the electric power industry in Nigeria.
It was instituted primarily to regulate the tariff of Power Generating companies owned or controlled by the government, and any other generating company which has a license for power generation and transmission of energy, and distribution of electricity.