Electricity consumers should not purchase, repair transformers, others – FCCPC

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says purchasing, replacing or repairing transformers and other electrical equipment used in power distribution is not the responsibility of consumers.

The FCCPC said this in a tweet on Sunday. The commission pointed to a Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) document on ‘Regulations for investments in electricity networks in Nigeria’ to support its position.

In February NERC condemned electricity distribution companies for forcing customers to buy or repair electricity assets as a condition for the restoration of power supply.

Customers can acquire meters through the MAP Framework, according to the agency. DISCOs are responsible for refunding or compensating customers who paid for the meters in advance.

The cost of the meter is to be reimbursed in 36 equal monthly payments using consumer-purchased energy credits.

“Electricity Consumer Right/Responsibility: It is not the responsibility of the customer or the community to purchase, replace or repair transformers, poles or other associated equipment used in the distribution of electricity,” the tweet read.

“If transformers are faulty, are residents responsible for their provision and installation?”

Answering the question, the FCCPC stated, “Faulty transformers are supposed to be replaced by the Electricity Distribution Company (DisCo) within forty-eight hours of the official complaint being made. The Electricity Distribution Company (DisCo) is responsible for such replacements or repairs.”

The agency also said residents can replace faulty equipment if they enter an agreement with the Electricity Distribution Company (DisCo).

“However, if the Electricity Distribution Company (DisCo) is unable to speedily replace the faulty transformer, residents may go into discussions with the company and agree on the terms of the replacement of the affected transformer if they so wish to assume the responsibility of the company,” it said.

    The FCCPC added that consumers who intend to go into such discussions with Electricity Distribution Company (DisCo) are strongly advised to read the Commission’s guidelines for such agreements. (Click here for NERC investment in electricity networks regulation 2015).

    Nigeria produces an average of 5,000 megawatts of electricity for a population of about 200 million.

    Africa’s largest economy has one of the world’s worst power sectors.

    According to the World Bank, at least 85 million citizens in Nigeria do not have access to the national grid, and the country loses $29 billion yearly to power shortages.

    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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