05 March 2014, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has inaugurated the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) forum office to protect vulnerable electricity consumers from exploitation by service providers.
Speaking during the inauguration at the weekend, the Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi said the office was the second level of appeal in the chain of consumer complaints.
Amadi said that issues beyond the forum were to be handled at the final appeal stage by NERC.
The NERC boss, who was represented by agency’s Commissioner in charge of Government and Consumer Affairs, Dr. Abba Ibrahim also stated that the office would significantly reduce the incidence of protracted and expensive litigations.
He congratulated the newly inaugurated forum members who had been chosen to serve in this national assignment.
“Just a year ago, the Ikeja customer’s forum was commissioned. This shows the commitment of NERC towards effective consumer’s right on electricity supply chain to reform the sector. The focus is for the benefit of electricity consumers in Nigeria. There is a history of very poor electricity service and high level of inefficiency within the electricity sector, which calls for the reform which commenced in 2001, while most of the agenda has been achieved by privatising the power sector,” he said.
Amadi said the inauguration of the customers’ forum was to ensure that electricity customers had value for their money.
“I am aware they were chosen based on their qualifications, integrity and depth of experience. This call to duty will require transparency, teamwork, fairness, consistency and the deployment of their professional experience. I wish you the best of luck and God’s guidance in the discharge of your assignment,” he said.
He said the commission would strive to ensure that vulnerable consumers were fully protected from exploitation by service providers.
“Vital consumer issues like billing, metering, connectivity, price often created disputes between consumers and the service provider. In line with the Commission’s mandate as provided in Section 32, 80, 83 and the powers conferred on it in Section 96 (1) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, NERC has developed the Customer Complaints Redress Mechanism for handling customers’ complaints,” Amadi said.
– This Day