NERC ISSUES NEW ORDER FOR HANDLING CONSUMER COMPLAINTS IN POWER SECTOR

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has introduced a regulatory instrument aimed at expediting the resolution of consumer complaints within the power sector. This instrument, named the “Order on Deployment of Customer Engagement Platforms,” sets forth guidelines for the establishment of call centers by Distribution Companies (DisCos) in accordance with section 119 of the Electricity Act. It also mandates standardization of these call centers to ensure seamless integration with the Commission’s own call center.

As per the Order obtained from the press, all DisCos are required to implement a complaint management and ticketing platform within eight weeks of the Order’s initiation. Additionally, they must deploy fully featured customer engagement platforms within three months. The Order came into effect on September 1, 2023, and will remain valid until it is modified or revoked by subsequent Orders issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

In its first quarter report for 2023, NERC disclosed that DisCos collectively received 249,683 complaints from consumers; marking a decrease of 4.44% compared to the previous quarter in 2022. Out of these, 229,101 complaints were successfully resolved, resulting in a commendable resolution rate of 91.76%; mirroring the rate recorded in the final quarter of 2022.

The primary sources of customer complaints were related to metering, billing, and service interruptions; accounting for over 79% of the total complaints during the quarter.

This regulatory initiative is geared towards enhancing efficiency in addressing consumer concerns within the power sector; reflecting a concerted effort to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction.

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