Electricity consumers in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital exclaimed with joy when the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) told them not to honor any request by electricity providers to buy transformers.
The Commissioner, Government and Consumer Affairs, Dr. Abba Ibrahim told visually aggrieved participants at the Power Consumer Assembly (PCA) that took place on Thursday, 31 May 2012, in Yenagoa that starting from June 1, 2012; not only would payment for prepaid meters would have been abolished , but that , no consumer should pay for the purchase of transformer however coerced. Participants were also informed of the south-south zone consumer protection board set up by the Federal Government for the protection of consumers’ rights, and were urged to be free to lay their complaints.
Taking into cognizance that the electricity review, tagged “Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO2)” would have taken effect a day after the PCA, Dr. Abba Ibrahim explained estimated billing thus;
“Modalities for estimated billing system in the new tariff are being worked out with peculiarities of each community in mind. A Community has to accept the modality before it can be implemented”.
Earlier, in his goodwill remark, Barrister Ikio Francis, who represented the state governor on the occasion, enjoined NERC to make every effort at ensuring electricity adequacy to Bayelsa. “We are not enjoying electricity” he said.
Francis advocated the privatization of the power sector and called on interested investors to invest in Bayelsa.
Basically, PCAs are platforms to educate electricity consumers; and to bring stakeholders together to discuss issues pertaining to electricity adequacy, safety, affordability and reliability in Nigeria.
Consumers were educated on the benefits knowing their rights and obligations, energy conservation and MYTO2, among others.
The high point of the consumer forum was the distribution of free energy saving lamps by two international organizations - Enercap/Phillips of France and Orange West Africa ltd.
President of Enercap/Phillips, Alex Via, gave a power point presentation on energy saving lamps (CFLs), with emphasis on how Nigerians stand to gain by embracing energy saving tips.