NERC intervenes to resolve electricity complaints between DisCos and Communities

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in line with its regulatory functions to ensure customer protection through prompt resolution of electricity complaints especially those bordering on prolonged outage (lack of electricity supply) have intervened in conflicts between the Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) and some communities within Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) network respectively. This has become compelling as community issues with regards to electricity if not properly addressed often result in security challenges. In the AEDC Network, the Mada Community in Akwanga LGA of Nassarawa State had alleged issuance of high estimated billing as well as very poor electricity supply. This led to the non-payment of bills by the community and resistance to disconnection of defaulting customers by AEDC following which it was alleged the AEDCs Area Office was vandalised, two staff of AEDC injured. Consequently, AEDC closed their area office within the vicinity and the entire Community was disconnected from supply. The Commissions intervention brought peace between the Community and AEDC which led to the restoration of supply to the Community. At the meeting with the parties, the Commission emphasized the rights and obligations of customers and the Discos. While the Discos have the obligation to provide quality supply of electricity to its customers and ensure appropriate billing of same, the Customers are obligated to pay their bills as at when due. The meeting stressed the existing customer complaint redress mechanism in the sector which should have been leveraged upon instead of the act of vandalising electrical infrastructure which led to the disconnection of the community. Within the EEDC Network, the Commission intervened on the issue of crazy billing and vandalised substation which led to prolonged outage with respect to Enuguabo village in Ufuma Anambra State and Afikpo in Ebonyi State respectively. Adagbe Abagana Community in Anambra State also benefitted from the Commissions intervention. Exhaustive deliberations resulted in the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between parties present at the meeting aimed at parties taking critical steps towards bringing a lasting solution to the matter. The Deputy Managing Director of EEDC, Mr. Paul Okeke signed on behalf of EEDC and Messrs, Anayo Etusi and Victor Nwokolo signed on behalf of Adagbe Abagana, Enuguagbo and Afikpo communities respectively. The meeting took place at the NERC Head Office Abuja on the 6th of February, 2020 with Dr. Moses Arigu (Comm. Consumer Affairs) as Chairman and assisted by the General Manager, Consumer Affairs Mrs Olufunke Dinneh mni, amongst other staff of the Division.
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