COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF ONE-DAY DIALOGUE OF NERC/CSO PARTNERSHIP FORUM HELD AT SHERATON HOTEL AND TOWERON 22nd AUGUST, 2013

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF ONE-DAY DIALOGUE OF NERC/CSO PARTNERSHIP FORUM HELD AT SHERATON HOTEL AND TOWERON 22nd AUGUST, 2013

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in partnership with Civil Society Organisations organized one-day forum on partnering for affordable and reliable electricity in Abuja.  The event was attended by no fewer than 160 participants including CSOs, media and various on electricity regulation. It was convened to articulate position of the NERC to Nigerians on the proposed privatization of power sector in the country.

After exhaustive collaboration, discussions, dialogues and interactions, the participants observed as follows:

1.   Nigeria has hitherto been faced with irregular supply of electricity; while the citizens have been subjected to the payment inefficient supply of electricity.

2.   The continuous increase in electricity tariff has added to the existing suffering of the people; while the hike in tariff has not been appreciated with relative increase in electricity supply.

3.   Wide communication gap between the NERC and electricity consumers, especially at grassroots level on various charges in electricity tariffs.

4.   Lack of comprehensive information and communication about the technicalities surrounding the charges of electricity tariffs.

5.   Inadequate procedure by regulatory agency to handle series of customers’ complaints across the country.

6.   Poor consumer education and enlightenment on electricity regulatory and complaints procedures.

7.   Electricity supply has been faced with series of challenges such as vandalisation, theft, etc., contributing to the factor hindering power supply across the country.

8.   Irregular power supply has not only discouraged investors at both local and international levels, but also driven away the existing manufacturing industries.

9.   Inadequate sensitization to prepare consumers of their rights and obligations ahead of the forthcoming privatization of power sector.

10.  Lack of electricity facilities in many rural communities for effective power coverage.

The participants recommended as follows:

1.   Clearly defined formal synergetic framework and institutional structure among regulatory agency, CSOs and various stakeholders on electricity regulation in the country.

2.   Full-fledged establishment of NERC for the immediate regulatory supports in all states across the country.

3.   Immediate consideration for individuals (especially unemployed) purchasing power in electricity regulation; and adequate education and enlightenment on consumers rights and obligations.

4.   Adequate channel and procedures to handle customers’ complaints across the country.

5.   Effective NERC-consumers’ sensitization campaign on electricity regulation in Nigeria.

6.   Adequate coverage of the rural areas on electricity provision by the state governments in collaboration with NERC and various stakeholders.

7.   Sufficient framework and structure for interaction between NERC and consumers.

8.   Adequate support for the ongoing privatization of power sector with primary objective to benefit Nigeria’s developmental interest.

9.   Increased citizens’ oversight on regulations and policy formation and implementation, including proper arrangement for their effective participation in the ongoing privatization of power sector.

Signed:

1.   Dr. Sam Amadi- Chairman NERC

2.   Auwal I. Musa Rafsanjani Executive Director CISLAC

3.   Mahmud Abdul –President Interest Lawyers League

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