Install meters or stop new tariffs – NERC orders electricity distribution firms

By The Citizen

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Thursday ordered electricity distribution companies that had failed to install meters paid for by customers since January 2011 to stop collecting the new tariff.

The commission said it had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the distribution companies that were in violation of its order to submit the list of all customers who paid for meters since January 2011.

The NERC also directed the companies to commence the metering of such electricity consumers with immediate effect.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, said any Disco that failed to comply with the new directive would be barred from collecting the new electricity tariff.

The commission, in a statement, expressed dismay that all the Discos had been in violation of the order as it related to customers who had made payments within the given timeframe, but were not identified for immediate metering.

'The NERC views this conduct as totally unresponsive and it is undermining the effort of the reform,' Amadi said.

The NERC had earlier this year issued an order on Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation.

The CAPMI was a response by the regulator to address the lingering issue of non-issuance of meters by the electricity companies and allows room for any interested and willing customer to advance money to the distribution companies for pre-paid meters.

The commission said the customer, in return, would be given electricity credit until the cost of the meter had been recovered.

'The CAPMI order, among other things, stipulated that all distribution companies should forward to NERC the data of all customers who paid for meters but had not been supplied,' the statement said.

The commission noted that in 2011, the sum of N2.9bn was made available as a metering intervention fund for electricity distribution companies, with a view to closing the huge gap of customers without meters.