Yemisi Izuora/Hyacinth Chinweuba
PowerUp Nigeria a consumer right group with special focus on the Electricity Consumer Rights has passed vote of no confidence on the management of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) under the leadership of Mr. Sam Amadi.
The group said the management lacked focus, and has failed miserably to protect Electricity Consumer Rights in Nigeria.
In a statement made available to Oriental News Nigeria in Lagos, convener of Powerup Nigeria, Adetayo Adegbemle observed that the commission has failed to resolve the problem associated with metering.
He said, “Nigerians are being fleeced, skimmed and scammed monthly, with the full support of the NERC. In the last six months alone, NERC has issued empty threats to the distribution companies, with nothing coming out of it on both occasions.
Another sour inability of the NERC to effectively protect the rights of Nigerian consumers is the issue of the monthly fixed charge.
We campaigned vigorously against this, asking so many questions of the shabby decision for the distribution companies to be rewarded for their poor service delivery, under the watchful eyes of the NERC”.
According to him, In the last quarter of 2014, the NERC further went on a jamboree with what they call #NERCMeterTownHallMeeting, with the said intent of resolving the numerous Metering problems that litters the power sector landscape. Nothing was ever heard of such meeting, and no known Civil Society happens to be involved in this waste of money, that resulted in not even helping millions of consumers out there groaning under the weight of “crazy estimated billing”.
Adegbemle noted that NERC has operated without proper recourse to the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 that sets up the organization, and which offer platform to fair regulation of both the utility companies, and the ultimate consumers of their product.
The group further condemned move by the agency to establish, Consumer Advocacy groups as it is not under its purview to do so.
“This is a direct indictment on their function and role in the Electric Power Industry value chain.
For avoidance of doubts, the Electric Power Sector Reform Act is very clear, and specific in the clearly spelt out role of NERC in Customer Service and Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures, and dispute mediation between the Utility Companies and Consumers” he explained.