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NERC to fine DisCos over wrongful power disconnections

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says it is proposing to impose fines on electricity distribution companies (DisCos) for wrongfully disconnecting customers from power supply.

 

This information was made available on NERC website titled “Consultation Paper on Review of Customer Protection Regulations in The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI)”, signed by Sanusi Garba, its chairman.

 

The paper proposed that any DisCo which disconnects a customer’s supply in violation of this regulation, commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to pay the customer a penalty.

 

The penalties as specified in the regulation are residential N1,000, commercial N1,500 and industrial N2,000.

 

“A DisCo which disconnects a customer supply in violation of these regulators, shall compensate the customer on equivalent of 100 per cent daily energy Cap for everyday the wrongful disconnection lasts,” NERC said.

 

“This shall be determined based on the previous month bill or consumption,

 

“ In the event of a property left unoccupied for a period of time following the exit of the occupant, a new occupant of a premises should contact the DisCo on their first day of moving into the premises.

 

“Which the DisCos should take into consideration for billing such customers.”

 

The commission noted that where a new occupant fails to inform the DisCo of the commencement date, it shall be deemed to be a continuation of the old occupant regime.

 

NERC said that the new occupant shall take responsibility for the payment of any outstanding bills.

 

“The paper proposed that when a DisCo has overcharged a customer, it should advice the customer in writing within five days of becoming aware of the error,” NERC added.

 

“And should repay the amount by crediting the exact amount of the overcharge to the customers’ next bill.

 

“On the other hand, NERC has proposed that, in the case of undercharge from incorrect billing, the DisCos may establish the undercharge and recover the amount for not less than three months.

 

“On replacement of faulty or obsolete meter, NERC said that a meter shall be considered faulty and not in compliance with the Distribution Metering Code, if it is determined that any part on that metering system does not comply with the code.”

 

The commission said if a metering system fault occurred, the DisCo should provide urgent metering service to repair or replace the metering system, as soon as possible.

 

The NERC also proposed that customers requiring connection to their residences or premises shall be responsible to pay the approved connection charges required by the DisCos as approved by the commission.

 

“While the distribution licensee shall be responsible for the connection to the customer’s metering point.

 

“The distribution licensee shall, within 48 hours of the provision of the requisite materials in the right quantity and quality by the customer, effect connection of supply Io the customer’s residence or premises.”

 

It said that in “pursuant to section 80 of the Act establishing NERC, the commission developed some customer protection regulations to protect the interest of the consumers and provide safeguards for customers from being abused by the operators.”

 

According to NERC, in view of the sector’s development and changes to policy, regulatory and operational landscapes, over a decade, since the time when the regulations were issued the commission is desirous of reviewing the regulations.

 

It said this was to align them with the current market realities to ensure that the interests of customers were adequately protected.

 

“This consultation paper seeks for stakeholders’ comments on the proposed amendments to the following customer protection regulatory instruments.”

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JOHESU, AHPA issue fresh 15 days nationwide strike notice

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The Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations have issued a fresh 15 days strike notice.

This followed an unanimously resolution adopted by the two groups to step down the notice of strike due to expire midnight September 17 and issue a fresh notice of 15 days.

It would be recalled that the union had on September 2 issued the Federal Government a 15 days ultimatum to meet its demands or embark on nationwide strike at the expiry date.

The JOHESU Acting General Secretary, Chief Matthew Ajorutu, said this in a communique issued at the end of an Expanded National Executive Council emergency meeting of the union via Zoom and physical attendance on Friday in Abuja.

The expanded NEC had the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the state and branch levels.

Ajorutu said that NEC-in-session had critically appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with the Federal Government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15 days strike notice issued on September 2.

He said that NEC also noted the appeal from President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the President’s pledge to pay any debt owed health workers.

He said that NEC also received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the strike action due to commence at midnight on September 18.

According to Ajorutu, NEC, after long hours of exhaustive deliberations on issues surrounding the planned industrial action, resolved that the Federal Ministry of Health should ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

He said: “The Federal Government should ensure that the new data for the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to the ‘High Level Body (HLB)’ of the FG not later than Wednesday, September 22, as agreed.

“NEC-in-session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the High Level Body (HLB) complete and submit the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the September 30th, submission window.

“NEC urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window.

“Finally, NEC-in-Session unanimously adopts a resolution to step down the notice of strike action due to expire mid-night September 17, and issue a fresh notice of fifteen days.”

The communique further said that NEC commended all members for their commitment and understanding towards the struggle for better working conditions, improved healthcare services and social justice for all.

Eagle Online

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Defection: Gumi knocks Fani-Kayode, calls him ‘Judas of Oduduwa’

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Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described Femi Fani-Kayode as the ‘Judas of Oduduwa’ following his defection from the opposition party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Gumi wrote:

“I have for long, neglected the rantings of the Judas of Oduduwa attacking me knowing fully well that he is fake and a traitor.

“Time has now caught up with him and thanks to Allah, all his vituperations are cast in the dustbin of merciless history.

“It is him now, one wonders which of the seven circles of hell this duper will settle if he doesn’t repent.”

Recall that the Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation under President Olusegun Obasanjo, berated those fronting for bandits and terrorists in the country. Though he never mentioned names but his rhetorics suggested he was referring to Sheikh Gumi.

On joining the APC, Fani-Kayode, however, said that he was moved by the Spirit to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, pointing out that he was a founding member of the ruling party.

Arogbonlo Israel,Vanguard News Nigeria

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BDCs funding Boko Haram, kidnappings, says CBN governor

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused operators of Bureaux de Change (BDC) of funding terrorism and kidnapping in the country.

Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, stated this in Abuja on Friday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

He also vowed that CBN would not rescind its decision to ban the sale of foreign exchange to the BDCs.

Emefiele said the CBN had resolved to stop funding the BDCs in the name of stabilising the forex market.

He said, “We have decided that this will stop and it has stopped for good. It beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and involved in corrupt practices.”

He also said, “We have unwittingly supported activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them back into the country and conduct crime whether it is Boko Haram, kidnapping or all sorts of nefarious activities.

“We the CBN take our country’s dollar and sell to people to go and buy arms ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to continue to do. We cannot do that any longer.”

He told bank customers with legitimate requests for forex exceeding the official limit that “your bank will speak to us and we will give you what is even more than the limit. We will continue to monitor the banks.

“We conducted a study, one of the banks sold in one day forex to 52 people who wanted to travel. After two weeks, they went to check, 40 out of the 52 had cancelled their tickets. They will have to return the forex or we will pursue you if you are involved in this nefarious activity. We are not going to go back there again.”

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