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Published On: Tue, Jul 22nd, 2014

Discos kick as NERC revises Fixed Charge payment

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The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday revised conditions for the payment of Fixed Charge following several knocks from the Distribution Companies (Discos).

NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi said: “NERC issued an order with ‘Order No: NERC/FC 133’ dated 1st May, 2014 directing that a customer who has not received continuous or cumulative electricity supply for a period of 15 days in a month shall not be required to pay the Fixed Charge, provide that the disruption is not due to non-payment of electricity bills or customers action.”

But the Enugu Disco represented by its AGM, Regulatory Affairs, Reuben Okoye submitted that the order was made without  due consultations with the operators, and that outages are not caused by Discos fault alone as some may arise from transmission or generation failures.

Okoye said it difficult to independently determine customers that had outages in a period and that the penalty for outages should pass across the entire value chain.

On his part, the Director of Eko Disco, Ernest Orji the rule is difficult to implement as the Discos do not yet have statistical meters to determine such claims from consumers. “In our submission, we argue that there should be a new structure for Service Charge (SC) and no more FC so that a percentage of supply is given as compensation to consumer or exempt them from paying the SC for that period.

Engr. Abimbola Odubiyi of the Abuja Disco argued that the order will encourage the culture of consumers not paying their bills. He urged NERC to look into the order to ensure sustenance of market financial progress and extending the rule to the TCN, Gencos and gas suppliers in the case of similar defaults.

Also speaking, the National Vice President of NACCIMA, Alhaji Sanusi Maijama’a disclosed this in Abuja yesterday at a public hearing organised by the Nigerian electricity regulatory commission (NERC) on an order revising the payment of the Fixed Charge component of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) being enforced.

Maijama’a who gave an instance of the electricity bills payment said, “If one million consumers pay the N750 FC monthly, then they are paying N750bn to the Discos for doing nothing. I have said earlier that if there is efficient service and every consumer pays his bill, government can generate much revenue than the oil sector.”

Equally, representative of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Okpe Sunday Adejoh  said over 95percent of industries in Idu industrial area of Abuja have cut off from grid electricity over incessant outages.

He argued that the 15 days outage penalty period is not justified enough for consumers as a day of outage means huge loss, adding that Discos should consult with Gencos and the transmission company of Nigeria (TCN) to share such penalties as the FC they collect monthly is also shared among them.

Amadi concluded that the Commission will consider the submissions.

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