Abuja - The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has directed
electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS) to stop collecting N750
monthly fixed charge in any area without power supply for 15 days in the month.
The NERC Chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, who announced the decision in a news
conference, said the order would be effective from May 1.
He said that the commission took the decision based on consideration
of complaints and agitations from customers and in line with its role in the
electricity industry as provided by an Act of 2005.
"It is hereby ordered that effective from May 1, 2014, where any
customer of a distribution licencee has not received continuous electricity
supply for a period of 15 days in a month such customer shall not be required
to pay the fixed charge.
"This is provided that the disruption is not due to non-payment of
electricity bills or other actions of the consumer, such as tampering,
vandalism or totally unrelated to the fault of the distribution company,’’ he
He explained that the 15 days without electricity could either be
continuous or cumulatively during the month.
Amadi urged customers to write a formal complaint to respective electricity
distribution companies to address the situation “or report to dispute fora in
each state for any breach of the order.
He, however, said NERC would not scrap the fixed charge but would continue
to review it in line with the demands of the electricity market and
international best practice.
Amadi said the new order would ensure that the Discos were more responsive
so that operational issues under their jurisdictions, such as faulty transformers
and cables were promptly replaced for customers’ usage.
He also urged customers not to be hostile to the companies’ officials when
they come to effect repairs in their areas as that could attract sanctions.
There have been complaints and protests by electricity consumers across
the country on the payment of the fixed charge even when they do not get
The fixed charge is an element of an electricity customer’s monthly bill to
enable the “Discos” to maintain and recover costs on permanent investments,
such transformers, cables and poles.
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