The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that consumers across the country should make sure that the various electricity distribution companies are held accountable for the market commitments they had earlier made.
This charge was made in view of the newly-approved tariff for electricity consumption in Nigeria, which commenced from January 1, 2015.
The commission recently reviewed the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) framework, taking into cognisance extant market challenges to approve a cost-reflective tariff for the electricity market, stated that without the active participation of electricity consumers in the market, it will be quite difficult for it to nip in the bud extant inefficiencies of the distribution companies as seen in their operations.
Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, in a recent interview with THISDAY newspaper, explained that following the approval of the new tariff which will see an increase in consumers’ expenditure for electricity services, the commission had insisted on improved service delivery to consumers.
While emphasizing the role that consumers would play in holding the distribution companies accountable, Amadi also noted that the possibility of electricity consumers getting tired of demanding for improved services from market participants, especially distribution companies, will not go well for the regulator who majorly relies on information from them to punish recalcitrant operators.
NERC had in the new tariff provided a six-month embargo on its application to residential electricity consumers in the country. These classes of consumers make up a large percentage of consumers serviced in the market, the commission however opted to exclude them from paying the hiked tariff on the condition that service delivery to them was still quite poor.
The new tariff applies to other classes of consumers but will only take effect on residential consumers approximately in June. Amadi however hopes that extant challenges in the market would have been addressed to give the sector some level of steadiness in service delivery to consumers.