24 January 2013

Nigeria: Meters - NERC Gives PHCN Customers Go-Ahead to Pay

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said PHCN customers who are willing to purchase their own prepaid meters could go ahead and do so.

Dr. Sam Amadi, Chairman of NERC, told newsmen in Abuja, that willing customers could make advance payment to the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) of their choice.

This is contrary to earlier pronouncement by NERC in December when it said that the pre-paid meters being distributed to users remained free of charge. In a recent official letter, NERC stated that consumers were not required to pay for collection of meters, as the cost had already been reflected in the new electricity tariff.

It added that there should not be any exchange of monies between customers and PHCN. Amadi however told newsmen that the commission would soon organise a public hearing on how long customers would have to wait before they got their meters. He said that the commission would sanction DISCOs who collected money from customers and did not provide the meters.

Amadi also said that the commission would put measures in place to monitor the operations of the vendors who would supply and install the meters directly to users. He said that the commission would also work out modalities for payment of the meters. The chairman said that the public hearing would also look at how to protect the Small and Medium Enterprises from high fixed charges and tariffs.

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