NERC set to enforce order stopping meter fees

28 November 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has warned Nigeria’s electricity distribution companies to comply with its order, stopping the collection of meter maintenance fees from electricity consumers.

Dr Sam Amadi, chairman of NERC, says the agency is now ready to enforce the order, originally meant to have have come into effect by the end of last month, and which it describes as illegal.

NERC had granted the distribution companies a waiver till the end of this month (November) after which, it says, enforcement of the order would commence.

Under the current arrangement, the distribution companies customers on a three-phase meter N1,251 monthly, which excludes cost of actual electricity consumption, other fixed charges and VAT. Customers with one-phase and two-phase meters are charged less.

Amadi said at the Nigerian Energy and Power Summit (NEPS) in Abuja at the weekend that in extending its initial deadline for compliance to November 30, the commission had meant to assist the distribution companies adjust the meters accordingly.

“We have written to them. They now have till end of November to comply or face stiff sanctions. They pleaded that they needed time to reset their meters to achieve that. We have now given them till end of this month after which we will move in to enforce the directive,” he said.

A memo issued by NERC earlier in October had declared meter maintenance fee illegal, beginning from October billing circle of the electricity distribution companies.

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