Nigeria moves to tackle metering problem

As 13 Man-Committee commenced public hearing
-Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC has commenced moves to resolve the consistent metering problem that has plagued the country’s electricity sector for years.

NERC, Nigeria’s power regulatory body seeks to deliver this critical mandate through continuous guidance, pursuit of excellence and the inauguration of a 13 man metering inquiry committee.

Speaking at a public hearing on the Metering Inquiry Committee organized by the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, Chairman of NERC Mr. Sam Amadi said the committee is saddled with the responsibility to conduct public inquiry on the way forward to address issues of metering in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

Amadi said the essence of the public hearing is to ensure that accurate data are being gathered, and aimed at conducting a diagnosis of the complex and perennial metering problem in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
He noted that in order to ensure transparency and openness throughout the exercise, the commission has made provision for active participation of some distinguished members of the society from all parts of the country.

“In the course of our job we are constantly seeking and analyzing data from various sector participants including plants operators, transmission companies, distribution companies, the bulk traders, gas operators and electricity customers to ensure accuracy.

“We must balance the report and interest of all stakeholders before arriving at fair, reasonable and objective decision, regulations, rules, orders and directives for the overall development of the sector well-being,’’ he said.

Amadi stressed that the commission decided to inaugurate the committees in December 2011 which is a facts finding committee to address numerous complaints on metering and related issues.

He however urged Nigerians to support the committee for the smooth completion of the power sector reforms, adding that the commission is concerned in finding lasting solution to the problems of metering in the country.

In a remark, Mr Bamidele Aturu, Chairman, Panel of inquiry on metering in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) said that the committee is saddled with the responsibility to ensure effective process of the public hearing in all the six-geo-political zones of the country in order to afford consumers and other participants in the electricity sector to states their problems.

Aturu added that by this, it will create enabling environment for both the authority and electricity consumers to address lingering problems associated with metering and electricity consumption in the country.

“Our task is to assist the regulators in its task of providing an efficient and fair template to ensure that consumers are equitably billed by having a sound metering system.

“We are basically a fact-finding committees, we intend scrupulously to stick to that mandate, while we assured that nobody will be witch hunted by this committee because the key benefit of this exercise is to strengthen the regulatory process in the electricity sector,’’ he said.

Aturu assured Nigerians that the committees will not hesitates to make recommendations which the finding inexorably support, adding that the committee will not work against its conscience.

He however seeks total cooperation of Nigerians, organization human right activists, consumers and participants that will present their position to the committee to be modest and decorous in their languages.

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