The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has inaugurated the Customer Compliants forum office in Osogbo, Osun State.
The commission said the reason for inaugurating the forum followed the deluge of complaints by electricity consumers in Osogbo and it environs.
In the address of Commissioner, Consumer Affairs, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Moses Arigu noted that Osogbo Customer Complaints Forum office is one of the 28 operational office in the country and it set up to promote the interest of the electricity customers and enhance a better relationship with the electricity operators.
Arigwu, said, the commissioning of the customer complaints forum office in Osogbo was to address the needs and challenges of residents in the state with regards to complaints resolution as it relates to electricity supply in Osun state and in the country.
He asserted that customers within Osun state have expressed their dissatisfaction over the quality of service received from Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company(IBEDC), their service provider and the need to find last lasting solution to the identified problems.
Arigu stressed that, within the period of January to September, 2018 IBEDC recorded a significant number of unresolved complaints out of which 1,275 were from customers within Osogbo and its environs. Majority of these complaints have been on voltage and billing issues.
He said “The commission notes the recurring compliants on estimated billing which is mainly due to the low metering status in the sector. It is for this purpose that the commission has introduce measures to accelerate metering through the Meter Asset Provider Regulation of 2018 and very close monitoring of Electricity Distribution Companies meter roll out plan. The present metering gap in Ibadan Disco alone is about a million when compared to its total customer size of over 1.6million customers, representing a 60% deficit in metering.
Chief Operating Officer, IBEDC Head Office, Mr. John Ayodele said, the commission has introduced measures for the punishment of incessant breaches by customers who engage in unauthorized access to electricity, tampering and by-passing of meters.
He further warned that any customers who gain unauthorized access to electricity by by-passing meter shall be reconnected after paying administrative charges for loss of revenue, any amount of which they back for loss of revenue.
He pleaded with stakeholders not to take laws into their hands by being hostile to staff of their electricity provider-IBEDC, not to tamper, bypass meters, no to engage in illegal connections as well as vandalism of electricity installations. Make a formal complaint for its resolution.
The Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola commended the commission for the painstaking steps took to inaugurate the complaints forum.
He poised that, Osun state had been participating actively in electricity Industry not only to bring government nearer to the people but also to make life meaningful to citizenry since the creation of the State.
Aregbesola who was represented by Commissioner of Works, Hon. Kazeem Salami lamented that, one of the challenges facing the state government is vandals.
He said, “the efforts of this government to make the rural dwellers to be connected with the national grid but vandals has made it impossible for the rural areas to have even development.
“The distribution company is not easily ready to make meters available to the consumers this made the citizenry to pay exorbitantly for energy consumed with estimated bill per month.
He pleaded with NERC representative to look for ways to foster mutual understanding with the consumers in the State.