Electricity consumers in the Federal Republic of Nigeria are demanding that the country’s electricity regulator, NERC, puts in place a regulation to ensure that consumers are adequately compensated for persistent power outages.
Electricity consumers in the largest West African nation have been paying higher tariffs for electricity yet are not getting reliable supply of electricity, thus, making life unbearable to many.
In a recent statement issued by the country’s power transmission company, TCN, it absorbed itself from blame, saying: “TCN does not distribute electricity to consumers and cannot also switch off consumers’ feeders. Its jurisdiction on the network is from 330kilovolt (kV) to 132kV power lines. The company cannot switch off consumers’ feeders as it is not within TCN’s jurisdiction.
“The fact is that electricity cannot be stored, therefore, power generation, transmission and distribution occurs simultaneously. What determines what is put on the grid is what the distribution companies are ready to off-take. This equally regulates, which is what the DisCos are required to nominate what they would off-take a day ahead,” a portion of TCN statement issued by Ndidi Mbah, General Manager for Public Affairs, said.
However, reacting to the TCN’s statement Kunle Kola Olubiyo, President of Nigeria Consumer Protection Network noted that consumers are being cheated and taken for granted because Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) does not have any punitive measures to sanction GenCos, DisCos and TCN.
“NERC should work out a compensation regime where TCN is held liable when the cause of a defective service is traced to them.
“Sanity is urgently required in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) but who will bell the CAT?” he quizzed.
Mr. Olubiyo expressed disappointment about how Nigerian power sector players fail to document the cause of outages whenever they occurred.
“The problem is that Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and promptly too, are never done and documented whenever outages occur. If done, the defaulting party will be identified and penalised. I see the Discos paying huge compensation when the tenets of Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) are effectively applied. Unfortunately for the DisCos, a lot of the service disruptions will be caused by TCN and no customer wants to know about this as they only see the DISCO,” he stated.