By Agatha Chitumu
DAILY COURIER – The Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Engr Sanusi Garba Thursday reemphasized the need for consumers to know their rights and obligations in the power sector.
Garba made the remarks yesterday during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between his Commission and the National Orientation Agency, NOA, in Abuja.
The MoU between the two government agencies according to him was aimed at sensitizing consumers of their rights and obligations in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI.
Explaining further, Garba noted that the Commission was mandated by the power sector law to protect consumers in the electricity industry.
Represented by the Commissioner, Legal, Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, the NERC Chairman stated that as a sector that is very technical, it is important that consumers understand how it is managed.
“Our sector requires a lot of sensitization and we are meeting with NOA because we know that we cannot do the sensitization on our own. We have a very large country with a population of over 200 million people in 774 local government areas.
“Our sector is one that is very specialized and most people do not know how the electrons get to them. All Nigerians are concerned about is that they have those electrons when they want it on demand.
“The essence of this partnership is to create a vehicle whereby we have a platform where Nigerians are educated on issues about the sector, issues of safety, electricity theft and others”. he added.
Giving a remarks, the Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari noted that the huge trust gap in the sector needed to be urgently bridged.
The issue of electricity according to him has dominated national discourse despite the efforts the government.
“In addressing the electricity supply gap, there is a huge amount of ignorance in our populace on how things are done especially in technical areas like electricity supply.
“To make citizens aware and be part of the conversations, they need to be sensitized and mobilized.”
On its part, the NERC’s Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, Hajia Aisha Mahmud, said the MoU between the two agencies was long overdue.
He nevertheless added that the development would strengthen the relationship between NERC and NOA for the betterment of Nigerian electricity consumers.