The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED has moved to enlighten the general public on the directive by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to consumers not to pay electricity bills.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja on Sunday, Azu Obiaya, Chief Executive Officer of ANED, said the recent directive by NERC only applies to Maximum Demand, MD, customers and not residential.
Maximum Demand (MD) customers are commercial and industrial customers who consume high levels of electricity and contribute substantially to the revenues of distribution companies.
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has stated that electricity consumers that were not provided with prepaid meters as at March 1 to stop paying electricity bills presented by Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on the basis of estimated billing methodology.
NERC in a statement on its website at the weekend, also ordered the DISCOs not to disconnect any such customer that refuses to pay the bills and further advised MD customer to report to the commission if disconnected.
Reacting on Sunday, Mr. Obiaya said, “we recognise that our residential consumers will be interested in this notice thinking that it applies to them in their need for meters, and we recognise that everyone will like to be metered, we are working towards that.
“But this time, that notice by NERC is specific for maximum demand customers.
“Yes, it is a challenge, but we are working hard to ensure that we meter all the MD customers to eliminate issues associated with estimated billing that those customers have.”
He said that the DisCos had substantially metered MD customers across the country, further assuring that mass metering of all residential consumers was on–going.
According to him, it was also in the interest of the DisCos to meter all MD customers and other categories of customers across the country.
“So, our expectation is that the metering of MD customers comprehensively is been completed at this time.
“I know in my various discussion with the DisCos, with respect to the deadline we have been given by NERC, it is in our interest to essentially meter all of our MD customers.’ ‘
The ANED CEO called on Nigerians to support the DisCos to comprehensively meter all residential customers by fulfilling their obligations of payment of electricity bills.
He said that the DisCos were committed to delivering quality electricity supply to all category of customers.
“We would urge them to please meet their obligation as residential customers, we will also like to say to them, we understand the need for them all to be metered.
“The DisCos had continued to work very hard to meter all their customers, but we must all fulfill our own responsibility as residential customers by meeting our electricity payment obligation."