National Assembly proposing criminalising illegal connection, metre by-bass – NERC

National Assembly proposing criminalising illegal connection, metre by-bass – NERC

THE National Electricity Regulatory Commission has urged consumers to know their rights and obligations within the sector, noting that it will help strengthen the business relationship between the Discos and consumers.

Speaking at the Discos and Customers Care Forum in Benin, Edo State on Wednesday, NERC’s Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Aisha Mohammed, said the mandate of the NERC is to protect the interest of the public and resolve complaints as well as investigate complex issues with a view to finding lasting solutions to them.

She said the commission developed the Metre Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulation to effectively close the metering gap, enhance revenue assurance, eliminate estimated billing and attract private investment in metering.

Mohammed , however, assured the stakeholders that in addition to sanctions approved by the NERC, the National Assembly is considering a request to criminalise the rising cases of illegal connection, metre by passing, and tampering.

She said, “The NERC is out to let consumers know their rights and obligations within the sector. This will  help strengthen business relationship between the Discos and consumers.

“It has been reported by the successor distribution companies that at least four in every 10 prepaid metres installed are either bypassed or tampered with by customers with consequential adverse impact on revenue recovery and financial viability of the industry.”

“In addition to sanctions approved by the NERC, the National Assembly is considering a request to criminalise the rising cases of illegal connection, meter bypassing, and tampering. We need this law to ensure that things are done right in the sector.

The Managing Director, BEDC, Funke Osibodu, noted that out of the 156,434 complaints received by the company from Edo, Delta, Ondo, and Ekiti states in the last two years, 154,539 were treated and disposed of.

She assured the stakeholders that customers’ interest would also be paramount while calling on consumers to report any case of vandalisation to help the company serve them better.

The NERC will be in Benin for three days to take care of consumer complaints with a view to finding solutions to them.

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