By Kingsley Okoye
Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), said the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) received a total of 128,791 complaints from electricity consumers in the third quarter of 2018.
This it said was lower than the 153,227 complaints received by the companies in the second quarter.
NERC in its 2018 third quarter report published on its website, said decrease in the number of complaints resolved by DisCos improved to 75.6 per cent from 61.2 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2018.
It said similar to the second quarter, Benin DisCo had the highest number of complaints followed by Ikeja DisCo, while Yola DisCo recorded the lowest complaints in the quarter.
The commission said the customer complaints centered on service interruption, poor voltage, load shedding, metering, estimated billing, disconnection and delayed connection among others.
It said majority of the DisCos received several complaints on each of the aforementioned key issues, adding that only Ikeja DisCo had no complaint on delayed connection.
The commission said the number of complaints on metering and billing still dominated customer complaints, noting that metering and billing accounted for 53 per cent of the complaints.
This, it said was 68,749 of the total complaints received during the third quarter of 2018 as against 103,636 recorded in the second quarter.
“This implies that on average of about 747 customers complained about metering and billing per day in the third quarter of 2018.
“Another issue of serious concern is service interruption, accounting for 22 per cent of the total customer complaints received.’’
NERC listed the percentage level of the customers’ complaints in the quarter to include, metering -28 per cent, billing -25 per cent and interruption – 22 per cent.
It put disconnection at – six per cent, voltage – four per cent, connection – delay two per cent, load shedding – one per cent and other complaints -12 per cent.
On resolution of the complaints by DisCos, it said Eko DisCo had the highest resolution rate of 98.9 per cent, Yola DisCo 97.9 per cent, while Jos had 90.1 per cent.
This, the NERC said reflected a better performance in dealing with customer complaints compared to other distribution companies.
It also said the commission on a continuous basis monitored the complaints handling and resolution processes adopted by DisCos.
“Specifically, the commission followed-up on the audit exercise of the 11 DisCos’ compliance to service standards that were conducted during the second quarter by reviewing the reports of the exercise.
“The commission is set to communicate their resolutions to the DisCos for necessary actions to be undertaken to further improve customers’ service delivery.’’
NERC said it was continuously working to improve on the operations of its forum offices to adjudicate on consumers’ complaints that were not adequately resolved to the satisfaction of consumers by the responsible DisCos.
“As at the end of the second quarter of 2018, the commission has 25 operational forum offices in 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)”.
It said during the third quarter of 2018 that the forum offices received 1,959 complaints from customers who were unsatisfied with DisCos’ decisions.
“ Out of the complaints lodged at forum offices during the quarter under review, about 43 per cent were resolved as against 37 per cent of the complaints resolved during the second quarter of 2018.”
NERC said it had continued to intensify effort at its forum offices to resolve all outstanding complaints in 2018.