The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that new electricity customers would no longer pay connection fees before being connected to the grid for electricity supply.
Rather, it said that customers would buy the materials required for connection and make such available to officials of the local electricity distribution company for connection to the grid.
Dr. Sam Amadi, Chairman, NERC, made the explanation in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the commission's Assistant General Manager, Media, Maryam Abubakar.
The statement said there would be no direct exchange of monies between the customer and officials of the electricity distribution company for the purpose of connecting the customer.
"Customers would receive the list of materials required for connection from their Distribution Company (DISCO) (formerly known as PHCN) Service Centre.
It said the materials, when purchased, would be evaluated for quality by the DISCO.
It added that customers, who wished to be connected to the grid, must contact licensed electricians nearest to DISCO Service Centre to complete a new service application form.
"The application form would determine the customer's electricity load based on the quantity and types of appliances (air conditioners, televisions, lighting points, etc.) in the premises.
"It is important for the customer to provide accurate information on appliances for the DISCO to determine the appropriate (single or three-phase) type of meter to be supplied," the statement said.
It stated that the customer must return to the DISCO Service Centre with the purchased materials for quality validation.
It added that the centre would then connect the customer's premises within 48 hours, in addition to providing a meter and its accessories.
The statement explained that the new regulation was developed by NERC in consultation with electricity distribution companies, civil society groups and electricity consumers.
It explained that the measures were part of the new connection methodology by NERC to prevent corruption in the sector and protect consumers from fraud and extortion committed against them by electricity companies.
"We are determined to plug all holes of fraud and corruption in the system and ensure that the consumer gets the best possible service with electricity that is efficient, safe and affordable," it said.
The statement emphasised that customers would not pay for meters because the cost was factored into the tariff. It added that NERC was determined to make electricity simple and affordable to the consumers.