Stakeholders in the power sector have agreed to comply with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission’s approved metering standard.
The compliance came at an electricity stakeholder’s forum organised by the 3rd Metering Code Review Panel with support of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Some customers of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company at the meeting commended the regulatory commission and the review panel for providing a platform for interface with the distribution company.
A resident and businessman in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Uchenna Ibeagwua said, “this meeting called for the first time in this zone had provided us the privilege to bear our minds on the challenges with electricity supply and acquiring meters. This is part of the change we seek and I believe these problems would be over.”
A hotel manager in Calabar, Mr. Jacob Ameh also stated that, “It is a way forward for all of us in this sector. This meeting has made it possible for major issues such as the responsibilities of the distribution company to provide and install the meters and our duty as customers to pay for what we have consumed.”
The Chairman of the Metering Code Review Panel, Chris Okonkwo explained that the essence of the forum was to gather inputs from all participants in electricity generating, distribution and consumption to address obvious challenges and make recommendations for a new metering code in Nigeria.
According to him, “we embarked on an enlightenment of electricity customers on the metering code within this area. As we meet with stakeholders, we ask for observations on the code as it is today. We are collating all these as we move around the country and would use the recommendations to develop version 3 for Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission.”
Okonkwo explained that the main aim of its meeting with various stakeholders was to ensure fairness for all participants in the sector.
“Our aim is fairness of measurement and billing; fairness to both operators and customers. The customers should be convinced that the operators are not cheating them and the operators should also be comfortable that the customers are paying for the value of what they consume,” he said.
Earlier, the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Anthony Akah in a message to the forum, said that the forum was to sensitise the public on electricity metering as a critical accounting tool for revenue to sustain the value chain.
Akah remarked: “NERC has been transparent in its rulemaking in all regulatory activities. It is the minimum benchmark and gold standard in best practices worldwide and this informs the inclusion of stakeholders in panels to manage review of each technical code.”
Akah advised that, “Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission will encourage the distribution companies to meter every consumer in their franchise area and appeal to consumers to follow the already laid down procedures by the commission in resolving complaints against the Discos.”
He added that, “The commission would not sit back and watch, while the consumers are doubly charged for metering. Metering is the responsibility of the service provider.”