NERC Okays court settlements of electricity consumers’ complaints

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Following incessant complaints from electricity consumers, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has inaugurated five forum offices to help in addressing such complaints across the country, but where the forums are unable to find a resolution to complaints, consumers can then proceed to civil courts for redress.
Speaking at the induction of members of the forum in Abuja, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, said the commission’s customer complaints handling standards and procedures, provided for the establishment of Customer Complaints Unit (CCU), which was the dispute resolution platform set up by the power distribution licensees.
“Every DISCO is mandated to establish a CCU within its premises, which shall be responsible for receiving and resolving customer complaints,” Amadi said.
He explained that the CCU of each DISCO is meant to be the first stage of addressing customer complaints, adding that the forum, which is similar to an appellate court, will handle complaints emanating from the distribution companies.
The NERC boss said: “Dissatisfied customers, who still feel that they have not got the desired attention, or are dissatisfied with the outcome as addressed by the DISCO’s can then appeal to the forum, being the next level of redress in the system.
“All further appeals from the forum are to be made to the commission for further redress. Where the customer still feels dissatisfied with the judgment, he or she is free to move the case to the conventional courts.”
Amadi further stated that both the Ikeja and Kano forum offices were inaugurated in August last year, while the newly inaugurated forum has offices in Enugu, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano and Abuja.
The NERC boss said the new forum members included a representative of industrial customers to be nominated by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); a representative of commercial customers to be nominated by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA); and a representative of household customers to be nominated by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).
Others are a representative of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in the Disco’s operating area to be nominated by NERC and a nominee with electrical engineering background based in the Disco’s operating area and nominated by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).
“We have confidence that they will go far. What they need to do is to have that sense of purpose, and that is why they have sworn to an oath. They have a responsibility, and if you approach it from the point of view of their responsibilities and independence, then they will succeed,” Amadi said.

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