Jonathan committed to improved power supply before 2015 – NERC

Tony Edike

10 February 2012, Sweetcrude, ENUGU—The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Thursday, reassured Nigerians on the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to achieve its target of improved power supply before 2015.

According to NERC, the various agencies saddled with the responsibility are working assiduously to realise the target.

Speaking with newsmen after visiting Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, disclosed that while the nation awaited improved power supply, NERC was already devising strategies at ensuring that consumers were not exploited by officials of the various power agencies.

He said consumer satisfaction and service delivery remained the focus of the ongoing reforms in the power sector, adding that under the new tariff regime developed by his commission, electricity distribution companies were required to defend their efficiency before they could charge their customers.

“The concern for electricity consumers to get value for their money had compelled us to invite the distribution companies to defend their cost elements during the consultations for the tariff regime. Under the new arrangement, consumers will be shielded from bearing the brunt of paying for services that are not rendered by the electricity distribution companies,” he stated.

Amadi used the forum to list some of the efforts already put in place to cater for the consumers to include recent order of the commission on removal of the metre maintenance fee, explaining that the action alone saves the electricity consumer an average of N1,000 monthly.

He also disclosed that the commission released about N2billion of the industry’s funds (EDC) last year for procurement of metres for their customers, adding that a framework is being worked out to ensure that those consumers who have not yet been metered and who are still on estimated billing are not exploited.

Governor Chime had told the visiting NERC team led by Dr Amadi that there was need for the authorities to make effective use of the natural resources in the country, insisting that until that was done, the nation’s quest to achieve a steady power supply in the near future would remain a mirage.

“We have coal here; enough one for that matter but nothing is being done about it. All these talks about steady power supply to me looks like a child’s play unless we begin to harness these resources. If we are serious about what we are talking, we must have to encourage our people who have shown interest to explore the opportunity of mining this coal,” he stated.

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