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Two-Day separate sensitization programmes carried out by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, to facilitate dialogue and proffer solutions to difficult consumer issues in electricity sector ended in Lagos yesterday.
Both programmes were carried out for Ikeja and Eko Discos separately in Ikeja on Wednesday and Victoria Island on Thursday.
Key submissions made by the Director General of FCCPC, Barr Babatunde Irukera at both seating, heaped emphasis on Discos increasing their investments in infrastructures so as to deepen steady power supplies to customers’ and fast-tracking installation of prepaid meters to yet to be metered consumers in all part of Lagos.
The DG, represented by Deputy General Manager, Consumer Affairs, Shittu Shaibu, agrued that “The development of an effective electricity market that would provide safe, adequate, reliable and affordable electricity to Nigerians requires a lot of efforts, which entail commitment, competence, doggedness and focus.”
He noted that even though electricity value chain starts with generation to transmission, then distribution, the major problem consumers’ face is with the distribution.
He warned Discos that so far they had made the choice to be distributors, “They must be accountable because they have the responsibility to deliver despite challenges.”
While urging Discos to desist from inflating estimated bills, which has become ‘crazy bills’ today, Irukera averred that “Discos must be fair to all communities. The Ministry of Power told us that it is not the customer’s duty to provide equipment, but why are we charged for transformers and polls? Management must put a stop to this exploitation and hold the operatives accountable.”
Several electricity consumers took turns to narrate their displeasure over the Discos’ official delays in metering customers so as to reap off the majority in estimated billing. They also decried endless regime of poor service or lack of service they receive, as well as the Ikeja Electric’s inability to replace bad transformers following months of complaints.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh said “The commencement of the Meter Asset Providers (MAP) scheme, developed in line with MAP 2018, will go a long way to assuaging the long-pressing issue of metering. The distribution companies have also done extensive work on their customer enumeration to determine the actual metering gap, as well as perform adequate Know Your Customer (KYC) to reduce electricity theft and improve service delivery,”
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