27 May 2014, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said a number of strict administrative sanctions, which are contained in the electricity industry (enforcement) regulations, which it rolled out recently will ensure compliance to operational codes in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). The measures,the commission also said, were put in place to hit back at extant compliancy from operators in the sector.
Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi stated recently in Abuja that the enforcement regulation of the commission has been carefully designed to keep operational excesses of licensees in the industry at check.
Amadi said the regulations were meant to get operators to swiftly respond to extant complaints from consumers while making consumers obliged to respond to their responsibilities to the industry.
NERC recently announced its introduction of enforcement regulations for the electricity industry, including the variety of administrative sanctions available to the commission against any operator found guilty of breaching any of NESI’s operational rules. This includes imposition of an administrative fine of N10,000 per minute for each occasion of guideline breach by any of the operators.
The commission has equally elected to amongst other possible enforcement instruments, suspend operational licences of guilty operator, request for changes in the boards and management of licensees, cancel licences and seal off operational premises of offenders.
It also recently stated that distribution companies that had not supplied electricity service to consumers for a cumulative period of 15 days will not be entitled to collect fixed charges from consumers for the month under consideration.
Amadi who inaugurated members of electricity forum offices in the Benin, Jos, and Yola distribution networks, called on distribution companies within NESI to constantly expedite action on complaints brought to them by electricity customers, before they ever get to the NERC forum offices.
He stated that while the forum will serve as an appellate court to dispense with complaints that may not have received satisfactory outcomes by the Customer Care Unit (CCU) of the distribution companies, it behoves on the distribution companies to optimally exhaust its capacities in taking care of such complaints.
Amadi said: “The structure of the forum members reflects fairness and knowledge, made up of people who will feel the pulse of the people because they live among them. Each forum has five members with representatives from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), and the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).”
The NERC boss said it is the prerogative of the forum to protect electricity customers, pointing out that the forum must be seen to be impartial and neutral as this will affect their judgement and provide transparency to the forum and by extension to the commission.
“We have legal backing required to enforce the decisions of the forum, all these enforcement regulations are meant to hit back at the complacency of operators in the network. Now distribution companies will make they fix a broken pole or transformer because they know that if they don’t do that, they won’t be entitled to collect fixed charge once consumers don’t get power for a cumulative period of time,” he added.
– This Day