Former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, Guest on Public Conscience On Radio Program, Produced by Progressive Impact Organization For Community Development (PRIMORG)

Former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, has suggested some major steps to stop corruption in Nigeria’s Electricity Sector, especially that which relates to estimated billing.

First, he recommended maximum punishment for the Distribution Companies, DisCos by the Regulators- NERC, who has the power to enforce judgement.

Secondly, he suggested Consumers’ enlightenment to understand the exact need to complain as well as “understand what will be a violation and ensure that there’s compliance on their part.”

He also called on the Media and other Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs in the fight against crazy bills to beam a searchlight on various dispute systems and amplify existing cases of fraud on ground.

Dr. Amadi, who is a law teacher at the Base University, Abuja gave these recommendations while addressing the topic: “Criminalizing Estimated Billings and Eliminating Fraud in the Electricity Metering System.”

The former NERC boss was a guest on the Public Conscience Radio Program that is produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, said non-performing Discos be heavily fined and eventually transfer their operations to competent operators.

He lauded the initiative to criminalize estimated billing, but gave reasons why it may hamper equal distribution of power, adding that the Bill, however, will threaten all involved parties to sit up and do their jobs.

He advised that the bill should be restructured to have certain incentives, stressing that DisCos do not have enough funds, logistics and the means for quick deployment of meters to serve consumers.

Amadi faulted the rush to hastily privatize the power sector, noting that it was supposed to be fully commercialized and corporatized so as to encourage competition as DisCos today enjoy monopoly.

“In the place of acute scarcity, the normal business behavior of entities is to supply meters to consumers so investors can get their monies, but there is no competition and only one supplier.

“The power distributors actually think it is more profitable to estimate than to meter a captive consumer that regardless of the billings would prefer to pay than stay without light.” He said.

Speaking on NERC’s failure to follow up complaints by consumers, Amadi also recommended sanction on the regulators by the National Assembly if they fall short on their mandates.

During the phone in session of the program, PRIMORG suggested to callers complaining of over-billing in the past to visit various offices of DisCos to reconcile both the new and old accounts and retrieve their payments in cash or kind.

Amadin Idahosa

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