Following the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)’s pro-people position as it concerns the fixed charges, estimated billing and bulk metering, the Senate yesterday urged other agencies of the Federal Government to emulate the Commission in being responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
Chairman, Senate Ad hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye, in a statement in Abuja, stated that NERC’s intervention and directive to electricity distribution companies (Discos) to restructure fixed charges,discontinue estimated billing and bulk metering of consumers shows that the Commission could be relied upon to save electricity consumers from the excesses of the service providers.
While describing the steps taken so far by NERC in response to Senate’s resolution on the issue of fixed charges as a pro-people position, Melaye said that the Commission has shown that it is a responsible regulatory body.
It could be recalled that the Senate had before embarking on its six-week recess, called on NERC to immediately ensure that Discos discontinue the monthly fixed charges on electricity, following a motion on the issue by Senator Sam Egwu from Ebonyi State and Senator David Umaru from Niger State entitled: “Unfair Trade Practices of Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria.”
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, had in response to the issue of fixed charges, noted that though it is legal, the Commission had intervened to prevent its abuse and ensure that customers are not forced to pay for what they did not consume.
“The Commission agrees with the Senate’s position on the need to eliminate the practice of bulk billing of residential customers and replace the practice with individual metering and billing,” Amadi had said, while also urging Nigerians to reject the practice forthwith.
Melaye, while calling on NERC to ensure that its intervention yields expected fruits in the shortest possible time to the benefit of Nigerians, urged other agencies, whose activities have direct impact on the generality of the public, to always make decisions that would benefit the people rather than impoverish them.
-Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja