NERC to Protect Power Consumer

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The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission is to protect the interest of electricity consumers in the country by maintaining a balance to enable power investors to recoup their investments as well as provide effective and efficient power supply

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Apr. 14, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, is reassuring Nigerians that it will continue to protect their interest amidst public outcry over the epileptic power supply and crazy bills being given to consumers across the country. Sam Amadi, NERC chairman seized the opportunity provided by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, ICSAN, annual public lecture in Lagos, recently, to promise that the agency would ensure that energy suppliers meet the needs of Nigerians for safe, adequate, reliable and affordable power supply. He said that with the current reforms in the power sector, the days of inadequate power supply in the country are numbered.

Amadi said irrespective of drop in power generation in the country, the ongoing reforms in the sector shows that there have been some levels of improvement and positive future prospects for the sector. “We should also know that with the level of our standard presently, we cannot have uninterrupted power supply sometimes, so because there is no power supply in some areas, we should not say we have failed but within this scarcity, there are still some element of quality services that every consumer must have and our job is to ensure that every consumer enjoys this service.”

According to him, the desire of the private sector investors to recover their investment is critical, pointing out that the NERC would ensure the participation of the private sector in the electricity market. The commission ensures that regulations which encourage profitable pricing and effective competition among market players are developed and implemented, while appropriate codes of conduct and rules of engagement are also enforced to ensure an efficient and investor-friendly market.

“The whole idea of private structure is based on balancing which is critical because ultimately, what the consumer wants is adequate power supply and to achieve this, the consumer should know that it would be financed and investors must also recover their money. Our job is to keep the balance and also make sure power benchmarks the quality of service. We are now coming out with a regulation to compensate consumers in some cases who suffer grievous poor quality services. The balance is between enabling the operator recover his money and the consumer being served well. A regulator is not a regulator if it cannot protect quality of service,” he said.

According to Amadi, Nigerians should expect a change soon in the power sector, stressing that regulations are in place to protect and provide consumers safe, adequate, reliable and affordable power supply.

Reacting, Suleyman Ndanusa, president, ICSAN, said the issue of power had lingered in the minds of well meaning Nigerians because it was pivotal to the development of the nation. He said over the years, Nigerians have looked forward to a time in the history of the country when the issue of power failure would become a thing of the past. “As we all know, the absence of a steady power supply has contributed in no small measure to the high cost of doing business in the country when compared to other African countries and other parts of the world. This has affected the operations of businesses generally as businesses now provide their own power and are expected to still make profits,” he said.

Ndanusa noted that the institute is a member of the Corporate Secretaries International Association, CSIA, a Geneva-registered global organisation, dedicated to developing and growing the study of secretarial practice  to improve professional standards, the quality of governance practice and to improve organisational performance.

“We cherish this event because it is one of the ways by which we reach out to the public as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR. In addition, we X-ray very important issues that are germane which we believe would make the attendees better informed,  enlightened and more knowledgeable as far as the subject matter is concerned,” he said.

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