By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has mandated the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) to migrate their 8 million customers comprising R3 class of residential customers, industrial and commercial customers to cashless settlement platforms from today.
An Order No. 183 signed by the NERC Chairman, Prof. James Momoh, said it was in compliance with the cashless policy directive issued by the Federal Government.
“This Order and the obligations imposed herein shall take effect on 2 January 2020,” NERC held.
NERC said there is need for the mandatory transition of certain classes of end-use customers of DisCos from direct cash settlement of bills to cashless settlement platforms in order to reduce collection leakages/losses and improve overall revenue assurance.
“All DisCos shall transit to cashless settlement platforms for the billing/collection of industrial and commercial customers by 31 January 2020.”
For the R3 class of residential customers, NERC directs that DisCos should migrate them from 31 March 2020.
“All DisCos shall ensure the successful transition of customers to cashless settlement platforms.”
Apart from the DisCos providing payment platforms, addresses and other channels, they must deploy standard customer management systems (CMS), vending platforms and other technology solutions.
“All DisCos shall ensure full accountability of energy flow with the installation of appropriate metering infrastructure that is integrated with the CMS of all industrial, commercial and R3 class of residential customers by 31 December 2020,” it directed.