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PHCN’s maintenance charge illegal, NERC

Mallam Imamuddeen Talba, the National  Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Administrator, on Thursday warned PHCN officials to stop collection of maintenance charge from electricity consumers.

Talba, who gave the warning at NERC’s Power Consumer Assembly in Osogbo, said such a charge was illegal.The administrator said that it was wrong for PHCN to charge consumers for the maintenance of electricity infrastructure. Represented by Dr Tony Akah, a top staff of the Commission, Talba also said it was unacceptable for any PHCN official to disconnect consumers without going through normal procedure.The administrator also said the complaints raised by consumers would be tackled by the commission.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that electricity consumers at the forum complained of partial or total blackout, outrageous bills, arbitrary disconnection and maintenance charge.Talba urged members of the public to download copies of the rights of electricity consumers from the commission’s website to know the limits of PHCN’s power.

‘‘As you have your rights, so also we have our own obligations. For instance, if your demand exceeds 70 KVA, we can advise you not to rely on public transformer. Generally, we are to provide transformers but individuals, corporate bodies and government may assist to do that because it may not always be possible for us to do it all.

‘‘While it is not easy for us to be everywhere, government can extend its development projects especially on electricity to anywhere and we will always welcome the assistance,’’ he said.  Also, speaking, Mr Oladele Adeola, Chief Executive Officer, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, said the billing system was usually based on certain categories of connection. Adeola said that PHCN also consider intelligence billing in the estimate of the electricity consumed.

He, however, urged consumers to report any cases of extortion to his office through 08023202745.
Adeola also warned consumers to shun an Electricity Committee parading itself as a representative of PHCN and collecting illegal charges. Dr Olumide Babatunde, Permanent Secretary, Osun Ministry of Information, who represented Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, commended the organisers of the programme.


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