Meter Bypass to Attract fine of N450,000 – NERC
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has moved to clamp down on errant customers by announcing a fine of up to N450,000 for meter bypass.
NERC’s decision to hit consumers with financial sanctions ranging from N50,000 to N450,000 for meter bypass has been endorsed by the 11 electricity distribution companies and the Federal Government through the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
This was disclosed by the Vice Chairman, NERC, Sanusi Garba, who said the regulator had perfected plans to deploy prepaid meters in government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies in order to avert future debt accumulation by the MDAs.
Garba further disclosed that the fine meted out to consumers will depend on the class of power consumption.
Punch reports that Garba’s disclosures were captured in the minutes of the 19th monthly power sector meeting, which read in part: “The vice chair, NERC (Garba), stated that the commission’s order on financial sanctions on meter bypass was ready for signature. He noted that the financial sanctions on meter bypass ranged from N50,000 to N450,000, depending on the class of customer.
“He stated that the order was made in consultation with the Discos and that the commission would hold a meeting with the relevant stakeholders to discuss issues surrounding eligible customer declaration, metering, review of the MYTO methodology and regulations on business continuity.”
The minutes added that Fashola “advised the commission to place the highest level of sanctions on meter bypass to deter customers from such act.”
All queries from the Discos on the MDA debts were answered in a memo to the Federal Executive Council, before Fashola suggested that payments should be made on undisputed claims, while the disputed MDA debts were reconciled.
The NERC vice chairman informed of a coming meeting with the minister to discuss tariff issue for some classes of customers as they look to consolidate on the recent gains in the power sector that saw generation reach a record 7000MW.