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Name: Samuel Ekeh
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NERC Wades in and Resolves KAEDCO/Communities Disputes

The intervention of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has resolved brewing crises in the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) coverage area. The intervention was sequel to protests by youths of two communities in the North and South of Kaduna.

One of the communities, Badarawa community had contributed 2miillion (Two Million Naira) to purchase a transformer and were awaiting connection to Kaduna Disco network. However, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), had in a twist instructed an investigation by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission into the alleged exchange of money following a protest letter by a youth member of the community to the Minister.

Subsequently, the Ag. Chairman of the Commission Dr. Anthony Akah, mni, despatched an investigation team to Kaduna for on the spot assessment and resolution of the complaint. The team discovered that the Community actually donated the Transformer to KAEDCO to facilitate the restoration of power to their area which had been in darkness for the past Six months. The agreement is however, in clear violation of the Commission’s regulation which makes installation of facilities the Disco’s responsibility. The Community representatives were informed that all forms of donations into Distribution Network should be governed by the Commission’s Investment In Network Regulation.

Meanwhile, the purchased transformer would be connected to provide electricity to the community and reflected in KAEDCO’s Regulated Asset Base. This implies that KAEDCO would not get a return on the asset in their tariff.

Similarly, Janruwa community, at a meeting organised by the Commission in Kaduna, revealed that the youths of the locality protested what they regarded as an extensive darkness as they have been out of supply for over a year.

In their defence KAEDCO informed the NERC investigators that the Janruwa community was very large, requiring about 500 KVA transformers for a start, which was not available. The company said it had taken a 300 KVA transformer to the community, but had to take it away when it realised the density of the community, with the intention of replacing it with a 500KVA transformer.

The removal of the 300KVA transformer had precipitated the protests by the youths.

However, the Commission at the meeting had extracted commitment from KAEDCO to provide Janruwa with a 500 KVA transformer before the end of June, 2016. This is in addition to returning of and installation of a 300KVA transformer earlier removed which will give the Community a total of 800KVA capacity.

However, the parties to the dispute were requested to avail themselves of the Commission’s redress mechanism as contained in the Customer Complaints Handling; Standards and Procedures Regulation and direct disputes to Forum Offices established in State Capitals.

Michael Faloseyi,
Head, Media