Council sensitises business owners on effective relationship with electricity providers

Thu, Sep 29, 2022
By editor

General News

MICRO, small and medium enterprises electricity consumers in Bwari Area Council have been sensitised on how to prevent unfair business practices, yet ensure effective symbiotic relationship with Electricity Service Providers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the advocacy programme, organised by the council alongside other partners is held on Thursday in Bwari Abuja.

The theme of the event is: “Protecting Electricity Consumer Rights of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Bwari for Increased Revenue Generation”.

Mr John Gabaya, the Chairman of the council said that the programme was to enlighten residents, especially business owners on electricity guidelines.

“The main objective of this programme is to create the necessary awareness and enlightenment, as well as build the capacity of electricity consumers in Bwari Area Council.

“Particularly, the micro, small and medium enterprises electricity consumers such as hoteliers, furniture makers, hairdressers, tailors, bakers, welders, cold room operators and the likes, will enable them prevent unfair business practices against them.

“It is to enhance beneficial symbiotic relationship between electricity consumers and Electricity Distribution Companies for productivity and efficiency of their respective businesses.

“The awareness tends to also eliminate or reduce losses incurred by businesses that operate in the council as a result of these unfair practices, as perpetrated by DISCOs against consumers.”

Gabaya said that programme was to expose the people to available beneficial empowerment programmes from SMEDAN, Abuja Enterprise Agency and many others.

According to him, such will also serve as a reminder to security agencies of their respective intervention responsibilities under the Electoral Power Sector Reform Act of 2005.

He added that this included other enabling laws on criminal rights violation perpetuated against consumers.

Earlier, Mr Princewill Okorie, the National Coordinator, National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Electricity Consumers Protection Advocacy Programme, said that the event was to build consumers’ capacity on the sector.

He also noted that the event was organised by Association for Public Policy Analysis, in collaboration with SMEDAN with the view to tackling the issues of off-grid electrification, vandalism of electricity infrastructure and others.

He commended the council for its foresight in understanding the value of the advocacy and urged for the need to engage service providers in the electricity sector to ensure they respected consumers’ rights.

Okorie said: “The community consumer protection education should be initiated by Bwari Area Council, as a strategy to protect its residents from unfair practices of service providers in the power sector.

“The unfair business practices can be likened to theft, acts of corruption, obtaining under false pretences or economic sabotage by those who perpetrate them, whether individuals or corporate bodies.

“These perpetration goes on knowing fully well that these consumers at the community level , lack voice, resources or relatively not educated enough to defend their rights.”

He said that the advocacy programme was expected to hold in all the 774 local government areas of the country, including all the six councils of the FCT.

NAN reports that the event had in attendance representatives from the Association of Local Government Councils of Nigeria (ALGON), Rural Electrification Agency, Abuja Enterprise Agency, National Orientation Agency, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) among others. (NAN)