Stories by UGO AMADI
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has directed the various electricity distribution companies (discos) in Nigeria’s Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to work out fair and ingenious strategies of shedding electricity loads to ensure adequate supply of same in their respective coverage areas.
The Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi who issued the warning at a public consultation and fact finding mission on the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme in Benin, noted that it was important for staff of electricity distribution companies in the country to now appreciate the operational framework of the industry following its privatisation.
Amadi who was represented by NERC’s Commissioner for Engineering, Standards and Safety Regulations, Mary Awolokun, explained that the public consultation was initiated to avail the commission first-hand on the status of Discos’ compliance with the CAPMI scheme and other consumers’ related issues.
Stating the Commission’s interest in fair load shedding by the distribution companies, Amadi said: “They should make sure that every customer gets equal supply of whatever power is allocated to the company. They should not give longer supply to areas where their friends and relatives live; every customer must be treated equally.”
He equally frowned at reported rude attitudes of staff of Discos in discharge of their responsibilities to consumers, saying: “We lay emphasis on staff training, by this, we ensure the Discos train their staff to treat customers as king, we don’t want rude staff around.”
Amadi also apologised to consumers for delayed installation of electricity meter in their homes, majority of which dates back to the pre-privatisation era. The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), however stated in a presentation that as much 5,000 meters are installed monthly by it, with plans to increase the number to 7,000, thus reducing estimated billing across its coverage area.
NERC has also enjoined the Discos to initiate and follow-up on periodic trainings of its staff on good customer relations. It noted that such demands, have become necessary in view of complaints of alleged unfair power rationing by the discos, and cases of ill-mannered responses to demands of electricity consumers by staff of the electricity distribution companies