FCCPC Proffers Solutions To Electricity Challenges, Engages Consumers
Over the years, the challenges confronting power sector has remained a bottleneck for operators, government, consumers, regulators and other stakeholders; however, to solve the challenges, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) has urged Ikeja Electric and others Distribution Companies (Discos) to expedite action on ensuring quality service delivery by metering every home to protect the consumers from overestimated billings and others illegal activities.
FCCPC’s Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera made this known at the Town Hall meeting hosted by FCCPC in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation on facilitating dialogue and proffering solutions to difficult consumer issues in the electricity sector held in Lagos on Tuesday, 18th June, 2019. The event had in attendance Ikeja Electric Distribution Company (IKEDC) management and others stakeholders.
He said some of the challenges confronting consumers are crazy bills, a state where consumers are charged for what they did not consume. Others are load shedding system, consumers now pay for transformers and others to some staffs of Discos among others.
He therefore, urged the Discos to distribute fairly to all homes in the community; provide necessary electric equipment to consumers without charging them for it and also be responsiveness and sensibility to their roles and assignments.
In addition, he urged the IKEDC to ensure that they perform their duties by providing quality services to the consumers, adding that the solution for illegal connection is not for people to pay for what they didn’t use but rather look for new ways to solve such illegal act.
Equally, he called for increased sensitisation of consumers and rewarding whistlers. In the same vein, he urged the consumers to support the Discos in addressing illegal electricity connections in their communities. Also stop the act of fighting or beating up operators of electricity companies.
On his own part, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh, disclosed that inadequate metering of electricity consumer is one of the biggest challenges confronting the industry, pointing that the present metering gap is 57% deficit.
“Metering is of great concern to the commission and the Federal Government. In light of this, the Commission has instituted measures to accelerate metering through regulatory means such as the Meter Asset Provider Regulation of 2018. Data available to the Commission indicates that the present metering gap in the industry is about 5,046,906 when compared to total customer size of 8,840,801 representing 57% deficit in metering” he said.
He therefore urged consumers to be patient in dealing with the Discos, in his words, he stated “We appeal to customers to be patient in dealing with the Discos on meter installation while assuring that the Commission will not sit back and watch Nigerian Electricity Consumers continue to be exorbitantly charged or estimated for energy consumed or not consumed at all. Metering is the responsibility of service provider. And so such, no consumer should be charged for meter.”
Speaking on the Commission plans to do, he said “The Commission is working hard to ensure the newly privatized power sector quickly rises up to the challenge of providing adequate, safe and reliable electricity to Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, Consumers at the forum expressed their displeasure at the poor quality service delivery of IKEDC and Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) both in Lagos. The bittered consumers reeled out all their complaints and Discos promised to urgently look into them.
Interestingly, the event was held in Ikeja and Victoria Island in Lagos metropolis for IKEDC and EKEDC consumers on Tuesday and Thursday respectively to file their complaints and also hear from the operators and regulators their plans.