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Pay more attention to MDAs in debt recovery, ECAN tasks DISCOs

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Executive Secretary, Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria (ECAN), MR. Goodluck Enyinna, has tasked Distribution Companies (DISCO) to pay more attention to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in its debts recovery.

Enyinna gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“I am advocating that DISCOs should pay more attention to MDAs to collect their debts because these are the organisations owing DISCOs huge sums in debt” he said.

According to him, if MDAs, Army and Navy will pay all the debts they owe DISCOs, consumers will not need to pay more tariff.

He said that the new tariff which would be introduced in Feb. 1 by Nigerian Electricity Commission (NERC), would run for 10 years. He said that no new tariff would be introduced until the end of the 10 years. Enyinna listed credible tariff for Nigerians, revenue short falls for DISCOs and good revenue to enable DISCOs to get their upstream market obligations as reasons for the new energy tariff.

According to him, an energy consumer will pay, on the average, about N8,000 every month when the new tariff becomes operational.

Enyinna called on consumers to go to the nearest distribution company and pay N25,000 for their prepaid meter through the Credit Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) programme introduced by NERC.

According to him, if the meter is not installed within 60 days of payment for the meter, DISCOs have no right to disconnect such a customer.

He said the money a consumer paid for installation of his meter would be repaid to him in two years and this would be done by capturing it in his tariff. Enyinna said that the consumer would also be given 14 per cent interest on the amount he paid for the meter.

He listed challenges of the association to include funding which, according to him, is not the case overseas,” he said. He explained that due to lack of funds, NGOs could not effectively carry out their duties. Enyinna said ECAN went to court in 2011 to challenge DISCOs on charging maintenance fees on consumers and the association was able to stop them from collecting the fee from customers.

He also said that the court action saved the country the sum of N240 billion, being the amount consumers were paying annually on meter maintenance to DISCOs.

According to Enyinna, this year, the association will carry out massive sensitisation programme to consumers for them to know their rights.

He called on electricity consumers in the country to conserve energy by switching off their appliances when not in use and to also ensure that they paid for their electricity bills. (NAN)

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