NERC gives Discos seven-day ultimatum on prepaid meter

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued a seven-day ultimatum to power distribution companies, warning that they will be sanctioned if they fail to meter customers that have paid for the facility under the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation scheme.

NERC, which expressed dissatisfaction with the level of implementation of the CAPMI scheme by majority of the Discos, said it would enforce its compliance.

The ultimatum was contained in a letter to the defaulting distribution companies, namely: Port Harcourt, Abuja, Yola, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja, Eko and Benin Discos.

The letter read, “The commission considers your actions as manifest and flagrant breaches and therefore requires you to show cause in writing within seven days, why enforcement should not be commenced against you and sanctions meted accordingly for non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the licence granted you and the order on the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation.”

The order introducing the CAPMI scheme became effective on May 14, 2013. In it, NERC directed that the scheme should commence and be implemented at the same time in all the distribution companies.

Furthermore, the Discos were directed to redeploy meters under the scheme to willing customers, including the installation of the facility within 45 days from the date of the payment by any customer.

In the letter to the Discos, NERC noted that various public consultations and monitoring exercises carried out to ascertain the implementation of the CAPMI showed that the they either failed or neglected to fully implement the scheme.

It said, “Condition 2 (1) of the terms and conditions of the licence granted the Discos provides as follows: the licencee shall comply with the conditions of this licence and the requirements of the licenced business as set out in the Act and regulations approved by the commission in accordance with the commission’s statutory duty to monitor all licencees.”

NERC said it also figured out that some Discos were fond of collecting money from customers for credit meters not minding whether they opted for the scheme, adding that many failed to publicise the scheme, thus giving misleading information to consumers.