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Electricity Consumers Shouldn’t Pay For Transformers, Meters, Senate Tells NERC



The Senate, on Tuesday, directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to mandate electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) in the country to discontinue the practice of making consumers pay for meters, poles and transformers.

These, which by law, the Senators noted, are properties of the DISCOs, adding that where the consumers purchase those items, they should give notice of the purchase to the DISCOs, and be entitled to recover their expenses from subsequent consumption of electricity.

The upper chamber, also ordered the commission to put an immediate end to the Fixed Charge (FC) of N702.00, being collected from electricity consumers nationwide by the DISCOs.

The motion is coming almost three weeks after the ruling of Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos stopped the plan by NERC to hike electricity tariffs in the country.

In what may also be an indication an indication that it is aware of the abuse of the fixed charge, the NERC had on June 2, begun the process of capping the revenues that DISCOs can generate from customers through the estimated billing method.

NERC had noted at a consultative session in Abuja, disclosed its intention to take away whatever incentives drive DISCOs to continually ignore extant plans to provide prepaid meters to customers in their networks.

It said by this, Discos had resorted to habitually billing unmetered customers, albeit unfairly, in most cases through the estimated billing methodology it initiated in the past to primarily address the sector’s shortfall in metering of customers and revenue generation. NERC said DISCOs had been found guilty of abusing the methodology, hence its decision to cap the revenues accruable to them from the methodology.

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