The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as said consumers will be compensated for poor services delivered by distribution companies (DisCos) under any payment band they belong to.
This is as the commission berated the distribution companies for failing in their responsibility to inform electricity consumers of the changes in their tariff when a minor review was carried out last month.
NERC chairman Sanusi Garba, who disclosed these on Wednesday, during media interaction in Abuja, said the minor review was conducted in line with Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) that mandates tariff review every six months.
Garba said it was the duty of the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to inform their customers of such tariff review outcome and how the cost of electricity would be.
On consumer compensation, the regulator said new order would be issued to allow consumers seek compensation when DisCos fail to supply power as specified in service reflective tarrif bands A, B, C and D.
“We have issued orders to a number of DisCos who have clearly failed to deliver service to those who live within the EEDC area. We can show you evidence that they have actually paid consumers for failure to deliver service. Another DisCo that has done so, by the report I saw, about N200 million was paid back to consumers by the Jos electricity distribution company. So we will continue to do so.
“The departments or divisions within the commission responsible for data analysis will continue on a monthly basis to provide a review based on the data we are receiving from the 11 KVA feeder that are supplying the load centers. And when there is failure to deliver band A, band B, band C service we will issue the required orders for compensation,” the chairman, said.
He maintained that DisCos should treat power supply to consumers as a contractual obligation following the privatisation exercise.
According to Garba, “Estimated bill must not substitute for metering of consumers. DisCos must abide by the NERC’s capping order. We are also proposing a new order that will enable consumers seek adequate compensation when their DisCo fail in its responsibility.”
Speaking further on the removal of subsidy in the power sector, he said it was in line with the policy direction of the Federal Government, as announced by the finance minister Zainab Ahmed.
Garba said added, “I believe all of you can understand that you cannot run the electricity market on life support and say that the investors should not get their return on investment.
“That policy decision was announced by the Minister of Finance. Subsidy at a point was as high as N600 billion a year. and gradually has dropped to N30 billion this year. So that policy decision is from the government and we take directive from the government.”
NERC vice-hairman and commissioner for market competition and rates, Musiliu Olalekan Oseni, while fielding questions on the recent collapse of the national grid, said, “The first system collapse happened due to a conductor snap on the 330 kilovolts Benin transmission line axis, it cascaded into the loss of 414 megawatts of electricity from the Ughelli plant.”
He noted that power generation dropped from the 5,300mw average in October 2021 to 4350mw in March.
Oseni said it was a dip by about 1000mw on the grid that denied some customers power supply.He also confirmed the restoration of the grid as announced by minister of power Abubakar Aliyu.