NERC directs DISCOs to sensitise staff

09 November 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has directed electricity distribution companies, DISCOs, to organise sensitisation workshops for their staff.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Maryam Abubakar, Assistant General Manager, Media in the commission, in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement stated that NERC’s Chairman Dr Sam Amadi, who gave the directive, said the workshops should be for the business managers to ensure compliance with billing regulations.

According to him, the workshops must take place before the end of November, 2012.

Amadi said the directive became necessary because NERC had continued to receive several complaints from consumers on excessive billing by DISCOS.

He stressed that the sensitisation exercise would not in any way bridge the gap between the commission’s regulations and effective implementation of new policies on power sector.

“This initiative is necessary in light of the fact that the DISCOs have neglected to thoroughly apply the methodology on the estimation of electricity bills,” he said.

Amadi noted that the methodology on estimated billing was introduced by NERC to regulate the practice of random billing of customers who had no prepaid meters.

He explained that DISCOS were required to scientifically calculate electricity consumption to ensure that customers paid for only what they consume.

Amadi said that NERC checks revealed that the DISCOs did not understand ways of applying the methodology.

“It is believed that the sensitisation will equip those responsible for billing with the necessary information and skills needed to estimate electricity bills in a scientific, fair and transparent manner.” he said.

Amadi listed areas to be dealt with during the sensitisation exercise to include metering plans, targets, and the regulation on connection charges.

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  • We believe it is more important to conduct a staff audit and verification exercise, because some of the so called staff shouldn’t be in the emplo of the DISCOS in the first place.