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Newsletter - August 2018


E-Newsletter Issue 2 Volume 1
August 2018 Edition

Commission assures operators of fairness, advises consumers on energy conservation
Story by Christiana Iliya
The Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Professor James Momoh has said that the Commission will ensure fairness to the market players in the discharge of its regulatory mandate even as he counsels electricity consumers on efficient electricity consumption.
Speaking during a radio interview recently, the Chairman stated that operators in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry have responsibilities to improve on Nigerians access to electricity just as the consumers pay only for the value of electricity they consumed.
He said that the Commission is interested in working with electricity distribution companies improve on their abilities to fix fault on their networks quickly, reduce high incidence of estimated billing to the barest minimum so that loses are not heaped on electricity customers.
Commenting on specific efforts at achieving this, he said, “Now we have local meter manufacturers that can cover for the metering gap in the industry. We also have the Meter Asset Provider Regulations which investors are now running to access.’’
The combined effect of these two developments, according to Momoh is the expedited closure of the wide metering gap in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, guaranteed operators’ revenue and reduction in the level of dissatisfaction among electricity customers who will be transparently billed to pay for only electricity consumed rather than been contentiously estimated.
He clarified that some punitive actions taken against electricity distribution companies may have been misconstrued in some quarters but that the Commission follow due process at arriving at those decisions. ‘’We do not sanction until we have investigated and confirmed that an action violates the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 or any of our regulations.’’ he reiterated.
He further advised electricity customers during the radio public enlightenment programme to use electricity wisely by practicing energy conservation and to pay their bills as and when due.

Discos Encouraged on Integrity of Data Supply to Commission
Story by Michael Faloseyi
Electricity distribution companies have been advised on the integrity of data send to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission as part of inputs to regulatory decisions and that they should endeavor to invest in research as part of efforts at solving relationship problems with their customers.
The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. James Momoh gave this advice at a meeting with chief executives of electricity distribution companies where he also counselled the industry operators to stop further blame game but work together to fulfill the important mandate of the industry to provide Nigerians with electricity.
In his opening remark at the meeting which is a continuation of consultations with critical stakeholders in the industry, the Chairman said, “The blame game has not worked. It is time, as professionals, to sit down, think originally and save the industry power industry not just with Naira and Kobo but with the talents and capacity God has given us.”
He said that the outcome of meetings with Discos’ counterpart in the electricity generation markets, transmission and other market operators was providing necessary contributions into the Commission’s response to the challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.
Prof Momoh advised participants at the meeting on the importance of research to solving some of the challenges as he quipped, “I cannot end this without assuring what role and per centage of investment in your Discos putting into research to know and how to solve the problems of your relationship with customers and franchise proportions?”
He assured of the Commission’s readiness to work with the operators in this regard, especially using the Commission’s Academy as part of the incubator for proffering solutions to the industry’s problems and challenges.
In an earlier meeting chief executive officers of electricity generation companies, the Commission has generation companies to diversify their energy sources as one of the means to limit supply interruptions as well as ensuring energy security for the country.
Other issues discussed with the generations companies include payments by 330kilovolts and 132kilovolts customers to the Market Operator rather than the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company as being proposed.
While them of the Federal Government’s commitment to the Power Sector Recovery Programme, they were that the entire value chain in the electricity supply industry is important and that structures are being put in place to ensure fairness without compromising principles of sanctity of contracts in NESI.

Forum Office Staff Commended for Quality of Participation at NERC Academy
Story by Michael Faloseyi
Staff of the Commission at the 26 Forum Offices across the country have been commended for their good works in their respective locations, quality of participation and feedback to the head office at a recent training organized for them in Abuja.
The training which coincides with the monthly NERC Academy see the Forum Officers participating at the August Edition of the academy for the first time where, Commissioner, Engineering Performance and Monitoring, Professor Frank Okafor made presentation on ‘ABC of Electrical Engineering’.
The lecturer simplified to the understanding of participants, various engineering terms and their interrelatedness when he said that members of the public will only identify staff of the Commission as regulators in electricity industry, which is engineering based and not as lawyers, economists or any of the other regulatory professions and they should be able to speak the language of the industry they regulate.
In his overview of the lecture, the Chairman, Prof. James Momoh, challenged staff to see the interconnection between their various fields of specialization and find equivalent interpretation of their professional language in any of the regulatory professions. For instance, a unit of electricity which is watt should have economic meaning to an engineers as well lawyers and accountant in the Commission.
The Chairman and the Commissioners took turn to commend staff of Forum Offices from various locations for the quality of their presentation, especially during the feedback session they had with the Commissioners.
The Chairman said, “We are proud of you as our ambassadors and we are encouraged by the quality of presentations made by many of you. I want to you to use the opportunity of the meeting at the head office to acquire new knowledge and bond with your colleagues at the head office.”
Mrs. Vivian Mbonu, aka Vivacious Lady V, AGM, Media, is bowing out of the Commission by Dec. 28 2018 after 11 years of meritorious service. She bares her mind in this interview with Christiana Iliya, even as she advises those coming behind. Do have a pleasant reading.
Q: Who would you say you are?
Ans: My name is Mrs. Vivian Obiageli Mbonu. I am happily married. My marriage with Sir. Okey Mbonu is blessed with lovely four children, who doing great in respective career. The has also been kind to us with four grandchildren. I would say that I am an introvert with a difference. I am very passionate with anything I love to do especially interacting with and handling people’s issues. I am liberal minded but also serious and a deep thinker. I am also a good team player.
I have a BA (Hons.) and M. Sc in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and the University of Lagos respectively and by the Grace of God pursuing a Ph.D
Q: When did you join the Commission and how was it like all these years?
Ans: I have been employed in the Commission from year 2007 till date as the first set of staff in the then Government and Consumer Affairs Division, where I worked in various units within the Division with the following responsibilities among others; Ensuring procedural fairness in handling complaints; Monitoring, investigating and resolving disputes between electricity consumers and Distribution Companies; Educating consumers in locations across the nation to ensure they are protected by knowing their rights and obligations; Preparation of information materials for consumers; Ensuring mutual relations with government Agencies.
I moved to the Zonal office Administration Unit between May and December, 2016 from where I joined the Public Affairs Division as Assistant General Manager, Media in December 2016.
Prior to joining the Commission, I had been employed in NICON Insurance – Corporate Affairs Division and Anambra Broadcasting Service with over 25years work experience.
Over the years, my formal and informal education and professional interactions have provided opportunities not only to manage specific assignments but to also manage human resources, projects and budgets.
I have remained passionate about the reform in the electricity sector and have used opportunities to advance the objectives. I have attended a good number of trainings in utility regulation and have obtained Certified Regulatory Specialist certificate
Q: You recently clocked out as a working staff of the Commission, what is your advice to
those you have left?
Ans: As I clock-out of the Commission, I must say that I am retired but not tired. I still remain an ambassador of our great Commission and member of the NERC family.
To my dear officemates, you have generally been a hardworking team. Thank you all for bringing your best to work every day. I urge you all to keep the flag of this Commission flying. As you continue to regulate the electricity sector, please ensure that you have your eyes on minute details, follow processes, be proactive, be timely, work in unison and as always avoid regulatory capture.
Q: What did you enjoy most as a staff of the Commission?
Ans: I have spent up to eleven years in this organization and truly I have made very valuable friends. I enjoyed being with them and will surely miss the NERC family.
Concerning my job, I have enjoyed a whole lot of moments and achievements. Some have remained so memorable that I cherish each moment I recall them. Most fulfilling are our outings during the Power Consumer Assemblies (PCAs); especially the PCAs at Local Government where we moved around teaching/enlightening people and giving them hope in the sector. The outings were enriched as we invited DISCO CEO’s, Business Managers, and Customer Care Officers to address issues in their areas. Also is the Estate Enlightenment campaign for Estate Developers and Residents. While we gathered them to speak to them about the avoidance of trading in electricity etc, we also went to enlighten some estates as early as 7a.m. during their end of month meetings. The early excercises carried out across the DISCOs to ensure the ambience of Customer Care Units were right, the internships under the auspices of NARUC etc.
I thank God for the opportunity to serve my nation in NERC.