The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has warned electricity consumers against bypassing their meters.
The commission said defaulters will be compelled to pay up to N450,000 as fine.
NERC said the development have been endorsed by the 11 electricity distribution companies operating in the country.
This is coming after the Vice Chairman, NERC, Sanusi Garba, told the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola during the last monthly meeting of operators in the sector that the amount being charged as financial sanctions depended on the class of power consumer.
As reported by the Punch, Garba’s remarks were captured in the minutes of the meeting.
The minutes read in part, “The vice chair, NERC (Garba), stated that the commission’s order on financial sanctions on meter bypass was ready for signature. He noted that the financial sanctions on meter bypass ranged from N50,000 to N450,000, depending on the class of customer.
“He stated that the order was made in consultation with the Discos and that the commission would hold a meeting with the relevant stakeholders to discuss issues surrounding eligible customer declaration, metering, review of the MYTO methodology and regulations on business continuity.”
The minutes noted that Fashola advised NERC to be more accommodating during consultation and “advised the commission to place the highest level of sanctions on meter bypass to deter customers from such act.
“He (Fashola) advised the Discos to prosecute offenders at the municipal level by liaising with the respective state governments.”
Garba also informed the meeting that NERC was perfecting plans to deploy prepaid meters in government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies in order to avert future debt accumulation by the MDAs.
Following the development, Fashola told the gathering that all queries from the Discos on the MDA debts have been sent to the Federal Executive Council, and subsequently forwarded to the Permanent Secretary of the power arm of the ministry.
He then suggested that payments should be made on undisputed claims, while the disputed MDA debts were reconciled.