Paul Orude, Bauchi

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has appealed to customers who are yet to be metered despite paying in-advance for their prepaid meters, to properly lodge their complaints at the Commission’s forum offices nationwide.

NERC Commissioner of Consumers, Dr. Moses Arigu said this, on Thursday, during the launch of its Customers Complaints Forum office, in Bauchi.

Arigu explained that customers should lay complaints with decorum rather than vent their anger through violence on electricity workers.

The event, which is took place, in Bauchi, was attended by stakeholders, customers, state government functionaries and the media.

The NERC Commissioner said that the event was significant because it indicates the responsiveness of the commission towards addressing the needs of the people to complaints resolution on electricity supply in Bauchi State and the nation as a whole.

“It is on record that within the period of January and September 2018 the Jos  Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) recorded a significant number of unresolved complaints out of which 547 were made by customers within Bauchi and its environs. Majority of these complaints have been on voltage and billing issues.

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“The members of the forum are representatives of all the customers classes including industrial, commercial, residential as well as professional bodies such as Customers Protection Council, Nigeria Society of Engineers and civil society groups.

“It is interesting to note that Jos Disco has commenced the procurement of Meter Asset Providers combined with the implementation of their roll-out-plan in accordance with the performance agreement signed with the government under privatalisation programme. This will inject an average of about 100,000 meters into Jos Disco network annually over the next five years” he said

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He revealed that the present metering gap in Jos Discos is about 320,000 when compared to its total customer size of about 486,000 customers representing a 64 percent deficit in metering as at August 2018.

The Commissioner, however, appealed to customers not to be hostile to IBEDC staff and should not tamper with their equipment.

In his address, Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, stated  that the coming of electricity distribution companies into the country was a good development as customers now have value for thier money  through innovations such as the customers Complaint office established by NERC.

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The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Nadada Umar, commended the efforts of NERC for fostering a partnership with the electricity distribution companies, saying it will bring more growth and synergy.

Managing Director of Jos Electricity Distribution Company, Mohammed Gidado Mobibbo, represented by Dr. Veer Jirboh, the Executive Directive in charge of Marketing, stated that the JED PLC since September 2016, commenced a mass metering exercise which is targeted at 94,000 meters in customer’s premises, to close it meeting gap and improve it’s billing efficiency.

The Managing Director who decried the increasing cases of vandalisation of JEC network infrastructures, said that the company was collaborating with security agencies to curb all vandals activities.

“Vandalism as you may be aware has a global menace.Nigeria and indeed power assets have become victims of this criminal activitiy on daily basis thereby depleting Nigeria’s capacity to generate, transmit and distribute electricity to our teaming customers” he said