…As NERC pledges to ensure metering of customers
Ukpono Ukpong – Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called for an end to estimated billings, even as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) promised to closely monitor to ensure accelerated deployment of meters to eligible customers through the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) Scheme.
The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, during the Public Consultation on Capping of Estimated Billing, Distribution Franchising and Competitive Transition Charge in Abuja on Tuesday strongly frowned at the rate of estimated billing charged by the DisCos which he described as been exploitative.
He called on NERC to compel the Distribution Companies (DisCos) to stop estimated billing as the masses which of course includes the workers who are placed on a fixed salary are suffering in anguish.
“Your organisation is essentially a regulatory outfit, recently I had to make a statement that it seems the agency is soft on the operators and hard on customers for obvious reasons.
“How can we make progress in such a situation, it shouldn’t be about profit, but it should be about service to Nigerians.
“Therefore, I want you this time around to make sure you bring the full wrath of the law to respond to those people that are actually making things difficult for Nigerians’’, Wabba said
On his part, NERC Commissioner, Consumers Affairs, Mr Moses Arigu, pledged that the Commission will closely monitor the accelerated deployment of meters through MAP initiative, it is also worthy of note that the scheme is designed to tackle issues
but not limited to adherence to the timeline for replacement of faulty meters, timely metering of new customers and elimination of bulk billing and arbitrary billings.
While explaining that not all unmetered customers would be metered at the same time through MAP, he warned the DisCos against arbitrarily billing those yet to be metered.
“In the MAP regulation, the commission is to come out with an order on Capping of Estimated Billing, which when finalised is to be effective a few months after the metering procurement the process through the MAP, and this began on May 1.
“Thus, the proposed order is expected to be a catalyst for the Distribution Companies (DisCos) to accelerate or fast-track deployment of meters to unmetered customers”, Arigu said.