A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

NERC chides PHCN over poor customer service delivery

09 October 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – CHAIRMAN of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, says the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, is characterised by poor customer service delivery practices, stating that this has been responsible for the absence of cost-reflective power tariff in the country.

Speaking m Abuja at the opening of a week-long twinning programme between his commission and United States National Association of Regulatory Commissioners, NARUC, Amadi said: “One of the real crisis of this sector is lack of customer-centric by utilities. We have received several reports, people are not happy with the tariff, not because it is high, but they are yet to enjoy good service delivery.

“They are complaining about bad billing system even though we have rolled out a methodology to sanitise estimated billing, but the billing is still going on and people are complaining.”

He noted that though it was far better to privatise the power sector, it was important to regulate the level of customer service.

“It is good to privatise and we are happy to be where we are now, but then, you have to prepare to develop capacity to regulate especially at the level of customer service,” he said.

He added: “We have had this for a while now and it happens every year. But this year, we are focusing on thematic areas, we want to identify the areas where we have gaps as a regulator and close up on them through the wealth of experience that we can gain from the Michigan Public Service Commission, which is about 100 years old in operation.

“We are trying to become a world-class regulator and we can only do that by learning from people that have been there for this long.”

The NERC boss maintained that the programme between his commission and the US agency is in its eight edition and is designed as a vehicle for the exchange of regulatory experience and information between NERC and NARUC.

Amadi satted that the officials are expected to share experiences that would further NERC’s institutional and decision-making capacities as regards market-based regulation.

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  • We share the position of the NERC on this matter and we commend the commission for being forthright and bold enough to tackle the PHCN.