67 per cent of electricity consumers under the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) do not have meters, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said
Commissioner of Consumer Affairs at NERC, Dr Moses Arigu, made this known Thursday while inaugurating the commission’s Customer Complaints Forum Office in Lafia.
The commissioner said of the over 1,589,000 customers of the AEDC, only 528, 214 had meters leaving a deficit of about 1, 060,786 customers, representing 67 per cent.
Arigu noted that the commission received over 1,123 unresolved complaints from consumers within Lafia and environs between January and September, expressing their dissatisfaction with services rendered by the AEDC.
According to him, most of the complaints were on issues of poor voltage and estimated billing, which he attributed to the low metering status in the power sector.
He maintained that to address the metering deficit, the commission introduced measures to accelerate the process through the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation of 2018 and closely monitoring electricity distribution companies’ meter roll out plan.
“It is gratifying to note that AEDC has commenced the procurement of MAP, combined with the implementation of their meter roll-out plan, in accordance with the performance agreement signed with the Federal Government under the privatisation programme.
“This will inject an average of about 100,000 meters into the AEDC network annually over the next five years.
“It is expected that the present metering gap will be closed within the next three years using the MAP regulation and their roll out plan,” he said.
Arigu explained that the establishment of the customer complaints office in Lafia signified the responsiveness of the commission to addressing the needs and challenges of residents in the state with regards to electricity supply.
He pointed out that the Customer Complaints Forum was established to resolve complaints that were not addressed or not to the satisfaction of the customers by the AEDC.
“Customers are first expected to forward their complaints in writing to the nearest unit of AEDC within their locality.
“It is upon dissatisfaction/delay in the treatment of their complaints that they are expected to escalate such complaints to the forum,” he said.
He said the commission had developed a software application to monitor resolution of customers’ complaints before the various distribution companies to ensure that such complaints were addressed within the regulatory time frame.
He appealed to customers not to take laws into their hands by being hostile to staff of AEDC, tamper with electricity installations or engage in illegal connections among other vices.
Director, Corporate Service of the AEDC, Mr Abimbola Odubiyi, said the company was working assiduously to ensure efficient service delivery to its customers in Lafia and other parts of the state.
He said the company was also collaborating with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to improve the quality and amount of power supply to Lafia and environs before the second quater of 2019.
Odubiyi said as part of efforts to ensure adequate metering to end cases of estimated billing, the AEDC had completed the enumeration of all its customers in the state.
“We are in the process of bringing in more meters and with the MAP regulation, we are optimistic that most of our customers in Lafia and environs will metered before the end of 2019,” he said.
He encouraged customers to feel free to visit their customer care units to lodge their complaints.
He assured them that the AEDC would always do its best to resolve their complaints and if not satisfied, the customer should take such complaints to the NERC customer forum office to be redressed.