Abuja – The Service Compact with all Nigerians (SERVICOM) has urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to address the challenges in accessing meters by Nigerians to curb excesses of estimated billings.
Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, National Coordinator, SERVICOM, made the appeal on Tuesday, when she presented the SERVICOM Compliance Evaluation Reports (SCER) at NERC Headquarters, in Abuja.
Akajemeli explained that the overall objectives of SCER were to ensure citizen-focused service delivery in MDAs, including the identification of gaps in services delivery and making recommendations to MDAs to improve customers` satisfaction and accountability.
“The objectives for this visit and this evaluation is to ensure citizen-focused service delivery and the specific objective is to identify service delivery gaps and we make our recommendation from our findings.
“For each location, we have a proper report and in writing our reports, we usually identify strength and weaknesses and so one of such that we found out, concerning the issue of meter.
“The issue of meter is very key. This estimated billing is going on and customers are complaining. We even found hidden charges,” she said.
According to Akajemeli, evaluation was carried out in eight zonal offices of NERC and some weak areas like estimated billings and non-access to meters by NERC customers were major areas of complaints.
“At Ikeja Distribution Company, for example, customers interviewed by SERVICOM crew disclosed that the company does not implement orders/decisions issued by NERC, following the resolution to stop decommissioning of meters.
“Customers lamented that there had been no replacement of old meters removed and they are subjected to estimated billings and this has led to customers` dissatisfaction and insensitivity, “ SERVICOM boss explained.
She, therefore, urged NERC Headquarters to, as a matter of urgency address such issues by sanctioning Distribution Companies that failed to fulfil orders issued by NERC.
In her words, this will serve as a deterrent to other distribution companies and also reduce complaints/hardship and poor services experienced by Nigerians.
Receiving the reports, Mr Christian Ohaa, Permanent Secretary NERC, expressed gratitude to the SERVICOM boss and the management team for the exercise to ensure quality service delivery to Nigerians across the board.
Ohaa said SERVICOM`s visit to NERC Headquarters was one of such services to ascertain Nigerians` satisfaction in the power sector.
He assured the SERVICOM and the management team that most of the issues they raised, would be addressed in accordance with the policy guiding the regulatory agency.
“The main aim of any government establishment is to give services to the citizenry, I am happy that you have identified the strength and weakness in the sector.
“It is now left for them to go back to the drawing board to address all the identified issues, “ he said.