THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said it is preparing a new order which would allow consumers seek compensation when distribution companies (DisCos) fail to supply power as specified in service reflective tarrif bands A, B, C and D.
The regulator disclosed this late Wednesday during media interaction in Abuja.
NERC chairman Sanusi Garba said 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 on how the commission intends to track defaulting DisCos on poor power supply, Garba said NERC had in the past compelled Jos DisCo to refund N200 million to consumers for poor service delivery.
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.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.