NERC Set To Rollout Mobile Outage Reporting App

NERC's Chairman/CEO, Sanusi Garba.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has disclosed plans to rollout the mobile power outage reporting App across the eleven Distribution Companies (DisCos).

This was disclosed by the NERC Chairman, Engr. Sanusi Garba on Wednesday while briefing the Power Correspondents in Abuja.

He attributed the delay in the rollout of the App to a few hitches identified in the cause of the pilot, assuring that the rollout would be done over the next few months to all the DisCos.

“On the mobile report App, there were a few hitches but they have been sorted out. We intend to rollout the outage reporting app over the next few months to all the DisCos. Because we need to get closer to the electricity consumers to know how the utilities are faring”, Engr. Garba said.

He, therefore, appealed to the electricity customers to make judicious use of the App by downloading it on their mobile phones to report outages from their areas.

Recall that the Commission launched the app ‘Power Outage Reporting System’ (PORS) in September last year to monitor power disruptions across the country, using Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for the pilot phase.

The launch of the App was part of the customer complaint resolution initiative of the Commission.

Engr. Garba also disclosed that in a short while, NERC would be commissioning call centres across the country for electricity customers to access their service providers.

“We have more than 13 forum offices across the country where customers’ unresolved complaints at the level of the DisCos are resolved. We have a panel at each of the forum offices that sit and adjudicate between a customer and service provider”, he said.

On metering and estimated billings, the NERC boss said, issues of metering and estimated billings dominate customer complaints.

On what NERC is doing to resolve the issue of estimated billings, he said, “we have identified that the issue with metering is finance. Discos have challenges in terms of credit worthiness to raise the required capital to meter everybody. So what the commission has done was to create a framework under which these revenues are guaranteed, so on the basis of future revenues, the Discos will have the opportunity to raise a substantial amount of money with which they can proceed to meter all the customers and stop this practice of estimated billings.

“President Bola Tinubu has approved an intervention to expedite the elimination of estimated billings”, he added.

On the Community being forced to buy transformers and others, the Chairman said, “the Commission has a framework under which third parties can do that, but it is not a donation to the discos.

“We are concerned that we do receive complaints of some discos literarily forcing customers to buy transformers, we will very soon engage in more communications on how this can be done.

“Where communities or individuals intervened in providing any such thing, there is a framework under which you can get your money back, but most customers including enlightened communities don’t understand how it works”, he explained.

Speaking on the Electricity Act that was recently signed by President Bola Tinubu, he said, the Act presents a very good opportunity for states to take charge of making laws and regulating the business of providing electricity within their franchise areas, within their states where they have jurisdiction, adding that the Commission remains committed to working with the states in that regard.

He announced that the the performance agreements that were earlier signed between the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and DisCos have expired, and decisions have been taken, therefore, the responsibility to regulate the sector is squarely on the Commission without any restrictions arising from the agreements that were signed in the past.

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