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Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Thursday said it had commenced investigations into the various metering claims presented to it by power distribution companies.
It also stated that it had set up task forces to monitor the estimated bills being issued to unmetered customers by the firms, stressing that several consumers had complained of receiving outrageous bills, which were confirmed by the NERC.
The Acting Head/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Tony Akah, stated that the commission had established an investigative task force to thoroughly look into claims by the 11 Discos that they had installed sizeable numbers of electricity meters for their customers since they took over the firms in November 2013.
Akah, who stated this during the inauguration of a customers’ complaints forum office in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, noted that the investigations would be conducted with a view to establishing the possibility of instituting class action suits against the Discos that might have flouted its regulations on metering and estimated billing of customers.
The NERC boss stressed that the commission had reasons to doubt the claims on metering brought by the Discos, adding that since 2013, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, which supplies power to Ebonyi and four other states in the South-East, had performed poorly, with a current metering gap of 512,335 out of the 732,423 customers captured under it.
He noted that the task force on metering would monitor the meter roll out plans, which the Discos submitted to the commission, to ascertain the authenticity of the processes they adopted.
Akah said, “When we did an analysis of the complaints that came to the commission, over 60 per cent of them have to do with payment. We also did an analysis of why Nigerians are resisting issues about tariff; we discovered that it has to do with them believing that they are not being charged for what they are consuming.
“As a regulator, we decided to prioritise those areas that affect electricity consumers. Of course, without prejudice to all other aspects of regulation, we have a special task force that will enable us to effectively analyse all the data that we are receiving from the distribution companies and those we get from the field.”
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